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Imitated in English Heroic Verse 



Nec verbum verbo curabis reddere, fidus 
Tnterpres : nee desilies imitator in arctum 
Unde pedem proferre pudor vetet, aut operis lex. 

Hor. De Arte Poetica. 




101 CQ N{ 







1 hrotjgh Me you pass to Sorrow's dark domain ; a 
' Through Me, to regions of eternal pain; 
' Through Me, where sharp remorse avails no more, 
' a And Souls for ever lost their crimes deplore. 
{ From Justice did I spring ; the Power above 
€ In Wisdom gave me birth, and gracious Love. 
( I was, before aught was,, save God alone ; 
' I shall be, till the lapse of Time be done, 
' A Barrier to this House of Guilt assigned. 
6 Ye, who once pass within, leave every Hope behind !' 

a In the opening of the Inferno, Dante represents himfelf as being 
accosted by the Ghost of Virgil, and under the guidance of . that poet, 
descending to the Infernal Regions. Milton probably had this inscrip- 
tion in his mind, when speaking of Hell, he says, 

Regions of sorrow ! doleful shades ! where peace 
And rest can never dwell j Hope never comes 
That comes to all. P. L. b. i . 

High o'er a gate in dusky colouring spread 
My wondering eyes this dire inscription read. 
' Guardian!' I cried, c yon mystic lines I see — 
' Say, does the dreadful menace point at me V b 
Then thus, in warning voice, the Poet said — 
< Far hence be all that can the mind degrade, 
c Far hence be idle fears ! the promis'd path 
c At length you tread, and view the realms of Death j 
( Where dwell the mournful shades that Sin has driv'n 
c From blissful visions in the blaze of Heav'n/ C 
He ceas'd; and as my trembling hand he took 
Celestial comfort mantled in his look ; 

6 The original is, 

Perch' io, Maestro, il senso lor m' e durcf; 

Which the annotators expound as meaning either that the sense of the 
inscription was hard to be understood, or that it implied something 
harsh to Dante who read it. I incline to the latter interpretation, both 
because it furnishes a reason for the cautionary exhortation which Virgil 
immediately subjoins: 

Qui si convien lasciare ogni sospetto, 
Ogni vilta convien che qui sia morfca. 

and because a person reading such an inscription over the portal througk 
which he was about to pass, might well entertain some fear that it pre- 
dicted his never returning : whereas the grammatical construction of the 
lines is easy, and therefore duro cannot be admitted to signify (in this 
place) difficult to be understood. 

c About him all the Sanctities of Heav'n 

Stood thick as stars ; and from his sight received 
Beatitude past utterance. Milt. P. L. b. 3. 


Nor stay'd, till from the brink of Hell lie shew'd 
The secret horrors of that dark abode. 

There groans and sighs and shrieks of loud affright 
Resounded through the drear and starless night, 
That I, not harden'd yet to scenes of woe, 
Wept at the fearful doom of those below. 
There jarring sounds of each discordant tongue, 
Of Grief, Despair, Revenge, and Horror rung : 
The wailing that from hopeless Anguish flows. 
The burst of Hate, and self-inflicted blows, 
Through the wide confines in confusion hurl'd 
With viewless tempest shook the nether world. 
As the light sands, when stormy winds arise, 
Whirl o'er the globe and darken all the skies. 

I heard, but error brooded o'er my mind, 
Ere yet by the protecting shade refin'd. 
f Tell me,' I said, ( what mean yon piteous cries, 
( And whence yon elemental jars arise?' 
' Here dwell,' he said, ' whoe'er unknown to fame 
' Crept through the world, without or praise or blame ; 
' Here too, unblest, the neutral Seraphs dwell 
' Who shrunk from God, but dar'd not to rebel, 
c Them from their thrones eternal Justice flung 
' And in this middle void for ever hung ; 
' Exil'd from Heav'n, lest from the sinful crew 
' HeavVs face serene might wear a darker hue ; 
e But sav'd from torture in the world below 
* Lest Hell should taste of bliss from others woe/ 

Then I — ( If not in pain yon clamorous race, 
' What mean the loud laments that fill the place?' 
c To all those abject souls/ the Bard replied, 
' Hope, ev'n the hope of Death, -is here denied : 
f For any change of lot, or bliss or pain, 
f They pine, but conscious that they pine in vain : 
' Soon on the Earth their fleeting memory dies, 
e Too base to mourn; too trifling to despise.— 
6 Speak we no more of them : — proceed, and raise 
thine eyes/ 
I look'd, and lo ! th' infernal banner spread 
The march of shadows through the gulph display 'd. 
Revolving round the staff, so quick it turn'd, 
It never seem'd to rest, but whhTd and burn'd. 
Behind arrayed the insubstantial race 
In countless myriads fill'd the dusky space; 
Myriads, that scarce, methought, ev'n destiny 
So vast an Host could from the tomb supply. 
Still as they pass'd, I mark'd each fleeting face, 
That lines once known, if here, my eyes might trace. 
And that Arch-Priest d I spied, whose dastard mind 
The post of glory from base fear declin'd. 

d 1' ombra di colui 

Che fece per viitade il gran rifiuto. 

It seems to be the general opinion that this gran rifiuto was the abdi- 
cation of the Papacy, and that the person alluded to was Pope CelestineV. 
This Pontiff certainly did renounce the Triple Crown after having worn it 
six months (sendo Eremita, as Machiavel says, e pieno di santita ;_) but 
if he really be the person here commemorated, I should rather fancy the 

Then knew I that the tribe, whose ranks among 
So foul a ghost unheeded march'd along, 
Who, spiritless on earth as here below, 
Felt e not Life's energies within them glow, 
Here in this neuter void might justly dwell, 
Of Heav'n alike rejected, and of Hell. 

In their bare flesh (for raiment they had none, 
And seem'd, though shadows, formed of flesh and bone) 
Unnumber'd wasps around on startling wings 
Fixt with continuous wound their venom'd stings ; 
And many a loathsome reptile suck'd the gore 
That trickled, rnixt with tears, from ev'ry sore. 

Advancing, in the middle space I spied 
(And right against our way) a rolling tide ; 
And thousands hovering on the plismal coast 
Anxious to pass — an eager, restless host. 

disappointment of some expectation formed on his elevation, rather than 
the mere fact pf his Rifinto, gave rise to Dante's dislike to him, Dante 
was born in A.D. 1265, and Celestine abdicated in 1294. Dante was in 
the early and middle parts of his life deeply engaged in the Guelf and 
Ghibellin quarrels j so that the conduct of Celestine, however grounded 
in sanctity and love of seclusion, may have given occasion to circum- 
stances very prejudicial to the views of Dante's party, and sufficiently 
galling to the Poet to induce him to stigmatize the action as he has done 
in this place. 

« This idea, expressed in the original 

— — che mai non fur vivi 

is inserted by Dante two lines below ; but seemed to me to occur here 
more naturally. 


Then thus, ( What mean yon shadowy tribes/ I said, 
f That with unquiet step the margin tread f 
f Thy doubt shall be resolv'd,' the Bard replied, 
' When pausing in our march we reach the tide.' 
Reprov'd I blush'd ; and hurried to the flood 
Where license to enquire my guide allowed. 
There in a pinnace through the sluggish stream f 
With creaking oars a meagre boatman came ; 
On his thin locks the touch of age appear'd ; 
Bare his broad limbs and squallid was his beard. 
' Ye Spirits of the Damn'd !' the Phantom cried, 
' For ye my vessel stems this fatal tide. 
' Ye ! who must never hope again to stray 
c To the bright precincts of ethereal day ; 
c I come to waft ye to the farther coast, 
6 Wrapt in eternal night and flames and frost, e 
( But thou — not yet from human trammels freed, 
' Begone ! depart from these, for they are dead ; 
f Thee other paths will lead from mortal woes, 
i Nor this the bark to bear thee to repose.' 

f The originality of Dante's genius appears very strongly, when we 
reflect that being conversant with Virgil's Poem, as this passage alone 
would prove, he has borrowed the Ferryman only from it, and supplied 
every thing else in this Canto from the stores of his own fancy. 

g This idea of Frost being applied to the damned is borrowed by 
Milton :«— 

Beyond this flood a frozen continent 

Lies, dark and wild. See P. L. b. 2. 

Then thus the Bard : < We seek yon dark domain ; 
f Lost is thy anger, thy reluctance vain. 

* Enough, that it is will'd we seek thy shore 

* Where Power on Will attends — Enquire no more.' 

Instant old Charon's eyeballs ceas'd to glow; 
And placid were the terrors of his brow. 

Meantime th' impatient shades that nutter'd round 
Shrunk, as their unexpected doom they found. 
They wept, they gnash'd their teeth in frantic mood, 
They curs'd their kindred and blasphem'd their God ; 
They curs'd each living thing that moves on earth, 
The place, the time, the pair that gave them birth, 
And all the upward line from whence their blood 
Descended, and the race to which it flow'd : 
And springing from the boat with eager haste 
(Heaps driv'n on heaps) again the shore they prest; 
Till Charon, with a voice that ehill'd the soul, 
And eyes that kindled like a burning coal, b 
At once the scatter'd fugitives control'd 
And lash'd them on and marshall'd in his hold, 
Each following each ; as in the autumnal hour 
Fall the light leaves in one continued shower, i 

h Occhi di bragia.«—This striking idea has been extended by Dryden 
from the eye to the face : 

And his face kindled like a burning coal. 

Pal. and Arc, 

1 Thick as autumnal leaves that show the brooks 
In Vallombrosa. Milt. P. L. b. 1. 


Till the rough trunk, with branches bare and wide, 

Yield the last honours of its vernal pride. 

So the curst brood of Adam from the shore 

Dropt in his boat, beneath the lifted oar> 

Obedient to his voice : as high in air 

Their well-known call the tow'ring falcons hear. 

At once his oars the griesly boatman plied, 
Brush 'd the dark surge and sought the farther side ; 
But ere that freight its destin'd haven found 
New bands of shadows filPd the nearer ground. 
'. Hither from every clime by instinct driv'n 
' Speed all who perish in the Wrath of Heaven.' 
The Mantuan said : ' And eager here they stand 
' To pass this tide and reach the further strand, 
' Reckless of all to come ; for Justice blinds 
' Their clearer judgments, and distracts their minds. 
( But never do the Souls belov'd of God 

* Sink to these realms, or cross this fatal flood ; 

' And hence the stern command that Charon gave 

* To turn thy steps from this forbidden wave.' 

He spoke ; the darken'd air, the stream, the ground 
Shook horribly, through all the vast profound. 
The melancholy kingdom breath'd a blast 
That red with meteors lighten'd as it pass'd ; 
Fear, with its chilly dews, my limbs o'erspread ; 
I dropt, as one that sleeps ; and all my senses fled. k 

H The Italian reader will perceive that in this and the next poem the 

translation is much closer than in those which follow : my reason for 
adhering closely to the original of Dante was this ; his style is so con- 
cise that a paraphrase, giving the whole of his meaning, would give no 
idea of his manner ; and few, if any parts of the cantos, which I have 
attempted to translate, will bear retrenching. 




&TILL o'er the frozen lake 1 we won our way, 
Where Traitors in eternal bondage la}' ; 
When, prison'd in one narrow chasm, we saw 
Two heads, the one beneath the other's jaw. 
Which with unhallow'd fangs, like common food, 
Grinded the naked scalp and suck'd the blood ; 
And with a rage as horrid, gnaw'd the head, 
As his, who mangled Menalippus dead. m 

1 The Infernal Regions are divided by Dante into Zones, or Cerchioa, 
each of which he appropriates to the residence of Sinners of a particular 
description. The frozen region, alluded to in the speech of Charon, is 
the prison of those who were on earth guilty of treachery. Ugolino had 
by the wiles of the Bishop Ruggieri been led into a plot against his 
country ; and being in his turn betrayed by Ruggieri, suffered the punish- 
ment related by him in this poem. 

m Tydeus, who being mortally wounded in a battle by Menalippus, 
commanded that the soldiers should bring him alive, if possible, into his 
presence. They brought his breathless body, and Tydeus flying at it 
like a wild beast, expired gnawing the head with his teeth. 


* O Thou !* I cried,, " whose brutal act declares 
( Hate unsubdued for him thy Hunger tears, 

( Say, who thou art? and what foul deeds above 
' To so abhorr'd a doom this caitiff drove ? 
' That in the upper world if e'er again 

* This tongue that speaks to thee its powers retain, 

* I, who now see the dreadful vengeance giv'n, 

' Thy wrongs may blazon and the Wrath of Heav'n.' 

I said, and sicken'd ; from the curst repast 
Upwards his reeking jaws the sinner cast, 
And wiping with the victim's matted beard 
The gore and flesh that to his fangs adher'd, 
e Ask you,' he cried, c those sad events to hear, 
-* Which I, the sufferer, scarce in thought can bear? 
( Yet, if what I may tell you shall give birth 
* To infamy, to brand this wretch on earth, 
e Detested as it is, my faltering tongue 
' Shall speak the deed from which this judgment 

' For you, your name, and how this penal zone 
f Of Hell you traverse, is to me unknown, 
' And whence you come; unless mine ears may trace, 
' Pure as your accents fall," a Tuscan Race. 

n The Italian language was in its infancy when Dante wrote ; and 
he is supposed to have contributed much to its elegance. That he was 
proud of it appears as well from this passage, as from that at the close of 
this stcry, where he says, 

Ah Pisa! vituperso delle genti 

Dell bell paese la dove il si suona. 


f For me, from Pisa my proud lineage came ; 
' An Earl, and Ugolino was my name. 

* This Wretch, Ruggieri ; Pisa's church obey'd 
c His pastoral word; her mitre grac'd his head. 

* Now learn the fearful cause of what you see, 

' And why he shares this place with such a mate as Me. 
c 'Twere bootless now to tell what all must know, 

* The rise, the early process of my woe ; 

' How rashly trusting all my power possest 
' And all I lov'd, to this perfidious priest; 
f Betray'd and captiv'd, by his cruel doom 
' I mourn'd, I perish'd in a dungeon's gloom. 
c But passing these, the strange and secret sins 
' Which in its iron womb a prison screens, 
' The Horrors of my murder thou shalt hear — 
' Then judge, if he now pay a fine too dear! 

c Athwart my dungeon's roof (that rugged Hold 
( Which many a wretch like me may yet infold ; 
c Which dark report shall name in after times 
( The Tower of Famine, from this monster's crimes) 

* A chink (and I had light through that alone) 

* The wane of many a moon and growth had shewn, 
' When on my brows as wavering slumber sate 

( A wond'rous vision burst the veil of fate. 
t This Priest I saw on yonder hills that rise 
4 And shut fair Lucea's plain from Pisan eyes, 
c Prepar'd with eager dogs (a bloody race) 
s A Wolf and his defenceless Whelps to chace. 


c The Sisinonds, Lanfrancs, Gualands, all around 
e Beset the ways and cheer'd each murderous hound. 
' Nor long their toil ; the fierce pursuers tore 

* Their prey, and dy'd their fangs in guiltless gorq. 

( Shuddering I woke; and ere the dawn appear'd 

< (Sad partners of my doom) my babes I heard : 

' With half-form'd sounds a feeble plaint they made, 

< And dreaming of their fate, they cried for bread. 
' Oh ! harden'd is thy heart, if, as I speak, 

e No tear, from pity sprung, bedew thy cheek. 

' If ever thou hast felt compassion rise 

e And gushing sorrow swell thy glistening eyes, 

' Now thou must mourn the pangs that wrung my 

e When foresight guess'd the miseries yet behind. 

\ We rose in silence. Now the hour was near 
6 When the grim jailor serv'd our daily fare: 
e But, ah! presaging sleep too much had shewn, 
6 And Hope scarce linger'd, though the dreams were 

* Then heard I with a sullen sound the door 
' Shoot horrible its bolt, to ope no more. 
' I gaz'd upon my babes ; no tear could flow, 

* For all within was petrified with woe. — 

* They wept — in such a silence much they reatfe— 

* Why gaze you? where's your grief ?' Anselmosaid; 

o The J jading families of the faction by which Ugolino was mined. 


6 But answer to his words return'd I none, 

( Nor wept I, till that day and night were gone. 

* But when another Sun with glancing ray 

6 Athwart the dismal dungeon where we lay 
' Gave my sad eyes, in each devoted face, 
' The likeness of their sinful sire to trace, 
( Then, "bursting into rage unfelt before, 
' Both these curst hands with frantic fangs I tore — p 
' They, deeming that m}^ deed from hunger sprung, 
s Upstarting from the pavement, round me clung, 
' And— " On this flesh," exclaim'd, ee thy famish'd 

* " (Resuming what thyself didst give) assuage — 
' " Oh ! lighter were the pain to be thy food 

' " Than witness what we see, and view thy blood f* 

' I paus'd ; 'twas all I could— alas ! no more 
4 Of comfort for the babes had I in store. 
6 While yet another sun his beam renew'd, 
e Our lips the stiffening hand of horror glu'd. 
( Earth I why didst thou not yawn ? another sun 
< Arose ere tardy Death his work begun ; 

P Ambo le mani per dolor mi morsi. 

This line seems to have been closely copied by Tasso Gie. Lib. Can. IV. 
where speaking of Satan he says, 

II gran nemico dell umane genti 
Contra i Christiani i lividi occhi torse, 
E scorgendoli omai lieti e contenti 
Ambo le lalbra per furor si morse. 


i lav. / 


* Then Gaddo stretch'd before me, feebly cried 
€ For help (in vain) to me, and lingering died : 

* That Wretch expir'd ; the following morn beheld 
' To pining want the sad survivors yield ; 

* Each clinging to his life, with slow decay 
' Dropt, as exhausted Nature's powers gave wavj 
( And writh'd in various forms the famish'd infants 

f Now ebbing fast to death, my balls of sight 
r In vain I rolPd to catch the guiding light ; 

* And crawling on the ground my hands I laid 

< On my dead sons, and call'd each darling shade — 

< Three days I call'd ; till Death at last prevail'd, 

' And Famine clos'd the scene, though Sorrow fail'd.' 

The Spectre ceas'd : q and kindling with disdain 
Snatch'd the torn scalp with eager fangs again. 

S After this conclusion of the story, Dante adds the following apos* 
tfophe : 

Ah, Pisa ! stain of every manly race, 

Whose speech refin'd Italian idioms grace; 

If slow to punish thy inhuman deed, 

From neighbouring states no vengeful bands proceed; 

Oh, may the Tyrrhene Isles, with closing chain, 

Exclude indignant Arno from the main, 

That, roll'd impetuous o'er thy fertile realm 

His refluent flood thy guilty sons may whelm. 

What though the Sire, by priestly wiles decoy'd, 

Seiz'd thy strong fortress and thy laws destroy'd, 

Why must the unoffending babes atone, 

Thou second Thebes ! for treachery not their own ? 

Them, but for thy revenge, the smiling bloom 

Of youth had sav'd from so severe a doom. 


Still as he gnaws, the flesh, the vessels grow; , 
Still as he quaffs the purple currents flow : 
Still o'er th' eternal wound the fibres spread : 
Such is their mutual doom : and such th f atonement 



cant. viii. rx. 

i\l ow loosen'd from the shore/ the western gales 

Sped the light hark and filFd the crowded sails : 

In gallant trim th' enchanted vessel rode_, 

And with swift keel the dancing surges plough'd. 

-All night Rinaldo sail'd; at peep of day 

A coast imbrown'd with wood before him lay. 

Descending from the ship he sought the wood ; 
When lo ! an aged man before him stood: 
Much worn he seem'd with years and more with grief: 
And thus in lowly sort he pray'd relief. 

r Rinaldo was one of the most amiable and mighty of the Paladins or 
Peers of France : he had violently loved Angelica ; but by accident drink- 
ing of the fountain of Hatred, and seeing her immediately afterwards, his 
passion was converted into scorn ; and she tasting at the same time of the 
waters of Love, became desperately enamoured of him at that interview. 
In his endeavours to avoid her he fell into the distress which forms the 
subject of this poem. 



i( Sir Knight," he cried, " if true to knighthood's laws 

" Thy valorous arm defend the weaker cause, 

" Oh ! to this fond embrace a child restore, 

" Whom from my nerveless age a ruffian tore — 

" But now the deed was done ; through yonder glade 

<c (He scarce is hid) the Thief his prize convey 'd." — 

Fir'd at the tale, the generous warrior sprung 

To punish or redress so foul a wrong ; 

Nor lance had he nor courser for the fray ; 

But all on foot explor'd the devious way 

Confiding in his might: the Thief from far 

Spied his stern foe, but shun'd th' unequal war: 

He drop'd his fainting prize; and as he fled 

Uprear'd a brazen bugle to his head 

And blew a dreadful blast, whose horrid sound 

Tore all the ambient air and shook the mountains round. 

High on a rocky cliff's majestic brow 
That frown'd upon the boiling surge below 
A castle tow'r'd ; at that tremendous yell 
A bridge embattled from the portal fell, 
And o'er the trembling planks a warrior came, 
Of bulk that far surpass'd the human frame. 
In his left hand a massy chain he shook, 
Arm'd for his purpose with an iron hook : 
The right aloft a ponderous lance display 'd; 
Two common spears the mighty beam outweigh'd : 
And this with aim so just the Giant threw 
That through Rinaldo's shield the weapon flew,; 


Nor mail nor corslet its dire force repressed 
Till the bright steel was purpled in his breast. 

Then like a dragon sprung the furious knight 
(And smil'd indignant) to the mortal fight; 
But he, the felon, that dire onset fled 
And sav'd beyond a stream his dastard head. 
From bank to bank one vast and solid stone 
(Fraught with an iron ring) across was thrown ; 
To this the treacherous monster hook'd his chain. 
And paus'd, yet trembling, on the further plain. 
But when Rinaldo's foot with rapid march, 
Hot to pursue, had reach'd th' insidious arch, 
Instant the chain with all his strength he drew 
And up the traitor-bridge on hinges flew; 
While in a dungeon sunk th' unhappy Knight 
Shut by the stone reversed from cheering light. 
There many a chain was hid and many a gin 
Drawn tight around the captive Paladin ; 
Till fetter'd fast, the caitiff giant bore 
His ponderous burthen to the bloody tower. 

Fast by the portal of that hideous place 
The wondering eye might deeds of murder trace ; 
Lopp'd heads, and limbs, and various forms of death. 
And mangled trunks that scarcely ceas'd to breathe; 
Crimson the wall ; and as without you stood 
What seem'd a flame was stains of human blood. 

The Paladin that dreadful scene survey'd ; 
Impatient to chastise, but undismay'd ; 


When, as they pass'd along, a griesly dame, 
Rob'd in a sable vest, before them came : 
No female features in her face appear'd ; 
A ghastly, wrinkled crone, with scanty beard: 
And as the wretch his prize before her laid, 
She cast a mournful smile, and thus she said : 
c Haply to thee no previous fame has told 
c The dreadful usage of this horrid hold ? 
c Hear, ere thy carcase glut a living tomb, 
c Hear the sad cause of thy untimely doom ; 
f And quit all hope of life ! thy hour is come. 

' Not many years are pass'd since here there 
f A Knight, the lord of many a fertile field ; 
c Bless'd in a youthful bride, so wondrous fair 
{ That none with her in beauty might compare : 
( His board the wayworn traveller receiv'd, 
e Besides the pilgrims whom his wealth relieved; 
s To all a gracious host ; but chief to those 
' Who the rough path of knightly glory chose. 
' Grifon his name : in Altaripa's Tower 
' No foul distrust alloy'd the festive hour; 
{ While Stella by his side, that peerless dame, 
~ c Shone like a star of Heav'A, and justified her name. 
' Now smiling May had deck'd the flow'ry plain, 
c When Grifon issuing with his princely train 
e Rode to that grove, where you this fatal morn 
f Felt the first blast of the tremendous horn. 


' There as with hound and hawk he urg'd the chace 
( He met another knight of noble race, 
( Marchino, great Aronda's Lord,, and mine ; 
i Of proud deportment and of form divine. 
( Him as his guest in evil hour he sought, 
' And, courteous, to his royal banquet brought : 
' But in that traitor breast, a guilty flame 
' Rose, as he gaz'd upon the peerless dame. 
** Nor fear nor honour his hot wish subdued, 
x The deeper plung'd in lust, the more her charms he 
( Fixt in his black design, he left the tower 
' And sought his own domain, Aronda's bower : 
( But his fell plot had chang'd his manly face 
( That scarce what once I lov'd myself could trace. 
' From his own bands he cull'd a desperate few 
' And in close ambush near this castle drew; 
' Then with his dogs and hawks at early morn > 
1 He issued forth alone and blew his horn : 

* The sound remembering, Altaripa's lord 

' Sought his worst foe and prest him to his board, 
( While with false smiles Marchino hail'd his friend 
' And murder with embraces dar'd to blend. 
' Mean time they pac'd along ; with specious tale 

* Marchino led his host to pass the dale 

' Where, hid in ambush, lay the ruffian train ; 
f And thus by treachery was Grifon slain, 


e The deed dispatch'd, he sought th'unguarded tower, 
e With banner spread like that which Grifon bore. 
c None guess'd the snare ; the portal opening wide, 
e Clos'd on the wretch who Grifon's form belied ; 
c Then dames and sires, an undistinguish'd crowd, 
' And helpless infants pour'd a purple flood ; 
' All that had life to death Marchino gave ; 
* Nor youth, nor age, nor beauty's bloom could save : 
c But Stella to his lust the felon woo'd 
e And urg'd, while yet in Grifon's blood embrued 
' With vain pursuit; no prayers her mind could move 
' Or threats incline her to a murderer's love. 
( By night, by day she kept her plighted word, 
c And pin'd for vengeance for her slaughtered lord ; 
' Schemes follow'd schemes through each revolving day, 
' Pleas'd for a time and pass'd untried away : 
( Till in her wandering thoughts that fiend arose 
e Which no remorse or fear or pity knows. 

' Sir Knight. s that savage fiend whom nought can 
< Wild in her anger, like devouring flame, 

8 Nulla vis flammae tumidique venti 
Tanta, nee teli raetuenda torti : 
Quanta cum conjux viduata taedis 
Ardet et odit. 

Non, ubi hybernos nebulosus imbres 
Auster advexit, properatque torrens 
ister, et junetos vetat esse pontes 
Aq vagus errat. 


e Is Woman, whom neglect and coldness stings 
f When Jealousy from lost affection springs. 
' Not fiercer fares the pard, by hunters prest, 
( Or the crush'd snake erects his glittering crest, 
' Than she whose fancy black Suspicion warms, 
i The wretched victim of another's charms. 

( Such was my rage, when won by Stella's gold 
c One from Marchino's train my wrongs had told. 
' With common grief such woe might ill compare ; 
' My wrath, was frenzy; my revenge, despair. 
' Mark what I did— and if the deed appear 
* All strange and horrid to thy shuddering ear, 
i Think that from Jealousy such murders rise, 
' When Hate the vacant place of Love supplies. 
1 Two blooming boys had blest our nuptial bed 
' Ere fate Marchino to this castle led ; 
' Of these, by this curst hand the elder died ; 
' The younger, half amaz'd, the murder ey'd, 
f And, spare your babe ! the pretty prattler cried, 
' Him, as he clasp'd me, from my knees I tore 
' And dash'd his brains out on the marble floor. 

Non ubi impellit Rhodanus profundum ; 
Aut ubi. in rivos nivibus solutis 
Sole jam torti, medioque vere 
Tabuit Haemus. 

Caecus est ignis stimulatus ira, 

Nee regi curat, patiturve frasnos, &c. 

Sen. Med. Act. IJI. 


< Such was my first essay : Now, Knight, attend, 
' And of a black beginning learn the blacker end. 
' While trembling yet with some remains of life 

* Their limbs I quarter'd with my reeking knife, 

c And minc'd the flesh ; but if each once-lov'd head 

' I sav'd, think not remorse inspir'd the deed ! 

( That ghastly witness for a dreadful time 

' My foresight had in store, to crown the crime. 

' With secret speed to Altaripa's Tower 

( I brought my treasure; at the noontide hour 

c -When the rich banquet base Marchino shar'd, 

* With seasonings I the impious dish prepar'd. 
' Wine mantled on the board ; the Parent eat, 

' And relish'd as he chew'd th' unnatural meat— 
' Yes, he did eat— And you, oh Sun ! beheld 
e That banquet, nor in clouds your orb conceal'd ! 
1 Quick from the scene of sin I sped my flight 
' And sought for aid from rich Orgagna's knight : 
c He had in happier hours my charms ador'd 

* Ere giv'n, the boast of proud Aronda's Lord ; 
c From the same root his antient lineage came 

* That grac'd the birth of Grifon's hapless dame: 

c Courteous he was and bold ; with strong disdain 
f He heard my plaint and rous'd his vassal train, 
{ But here, in Altaripa, Stella play'd 
e Her part of horror, where Marchino staid. 
' Smiles in her face, and rankling grief within 
i She finish'd, as her own, my work of sin ; 


1 In either hand a bloody head she bore 

f (Sav'd by my care for that ill-omen'd hour) 

' And gave them to Marchin ; though wan their hue 

' At once each darling face the father knew ; 

e And take, she said, (for nought her desperate mind 

' Reek'd of the penal miseries yet behind) 

f Take from this hand the boon my love can give : 

( Let these thy children's heads, a tomb receive ; 

f The rest is in thy cursed entrails stor'd — 

( not! thyself thy children hast devour 'd. 

' Judge now, Sir Knight, what passions fir'd his 
' With thirst of vengeance, and with lust opprest, 
f Now the fell sight would rouse his soul to rage, 
' Now Stella's angel-face that ire assuage ; 
' Till urg'd at length by the too bloody deed 
6 His moody mind a dire revenge decreed. 
' Home from the wood where since the fatal day 
' When Grifon fell, his mangled carcase lay, 

* Marchino bad his troops the body bear, 
' Corrupted by the dews and sultry air. 

* Then limb to limb he bound with brutal force 
f The beauteous lady and that putrid corse ; 

e And, as he Nature's Law and God defied, 
( Oh execrable deed! the Dame enjoy'd. 

' Mean time encompass'd by Orgagna's power 
( I reach'd the confines of this bloody tower, 


e My Knight around the wall his forces led 

c And hurFd defiance at Marchino's head : 

( But when that Wretch approaching peril view'd, 

' The dame he murder'd; but his rape renew'd: 

< On her cold corse he still prolong'd his crimes, 
' And sham'd the puny sin of former times. 

* Fierce was the shocks when here Orgagna sought 
' To scale the wall,, and here Marchino fought ; 
' But at the last we storm 'd th' embattled height, 
£ Burst through the guards and seiz'd the caitiff 

' Him the dread chief with burning pincers tore 
' And rack'd with tortures all unknown before : 
' Then to the royal pair a sculptur'd grave 
1 (Sad record of their fate!) his pity gave; 
' Where, join'd again in death, their bones he laid, 
( Wept o'er their hapless doom, and bless'd the dead. 

' This done, my Knight resum'd his homeward road ; 
e I in this castle fix'd my sad abode ; 
* With three gigantic knights^, a potent band, 
i Left by Orgagna to protect the land. 
e Eight months had pass'd, since in the tomb repos'd 
{ On the sad pair the marble doors had clos'd, 

< When from that house of death a sound was heard 
( So strange, so piercing, that the boldest fear'd : 

e I pass'd the terrors of the vulgar crew, 
' But ev'n my Giants felt a chilly dew; 


' Till one more hardy near the massive gate 

( Listening th' unusual noise attentive sate. 

' Then push'd the door ajar; a frightful claw 

c Thrust from the vault we all with horror saw : 

' The Giant scream'd and struggled ; through the door 

' The monster dragg'd his prize with hollow roar, 

' Cranch'd every bone and crush'd the iron mail — 

My blood now curdles while I tell the tale. 

6 Enough ; from that sad time none dar'd to stir 
1 Within the portal of the sepulchre. 
e Around, a lofty wall my caution rear'd 
' From the curst fiend the trembling town to guard ; 
( And then, with quaint device, the gate of stone 
c Was open'd, and the hideous monster shewn — 
' Ask you his form ? No eye to view him dar'd : 
' No tongue can tell how terrible he glar'd. 
' Too soon by thee, Sir Knight, will he be known, 
' Tomorrow's victim for his hunger thrown : 
e For ev'n at that same time this rite arose 
' From which thy unexpected doom of misery flows. 
' Some hapless stranger at each dawn of day 
c Flung towards the tomb becomes the monster's prey; 
6 If more than one our active band supplies 
' Or quarter'd or impal'd the victim dies ; 
' And hence the gory sights that now deface 
' The sad approach to this funereal place. 
' Think not our rite from thirst of blood proceeds,, 
e On human flesh alone this Being feeds, 


* And if our tardy care withhold his prey, 

' He rages, that the solid wall gives way. 

' In me, so lovely once, the bitter thought 

c Of deeds accurst this loathsome change has wrought; 

' No signs of beauty now my features crown, 

' But Guilt and Horror stamp me for their own.' 

When now the usage of this bloody Tower 
The Knight had heard, and learnt the matchless power, 
The unknown origin and cruel rage 
Of the fell tenant of that marble cage, 
Still confident of inborn worth, his prayer 
He thus preferr'd, and crav'd the chance of war. 
' Oh deem not, Matron, that I vainly boast 
' Or scorn the scourge of thy puissant host, 
{ But give me, in the hour of death, to wear 
' These temper'd arms, and this good sword to bear.* 
' Wear what you list/ she said : ' but nought avail 
( Or shields, or swords, or shirts of temper'd mail : 
f No human strength through him can drive the steel, 
1 Or human arms his deadly claws repel ; 
f 'Tis idle 'gainst that fiend thy force to try; 
( Thy part is not to combat, but to die.' 

Up rose the low'ring morn ; the barbarous race 
Led the bold Knight within the bloody space : 
Instant the portal clos'd; th' infernal beast 
Gnash'd his huge teeth and -smelt th' expected feast. 
So fierce he seem'd, that at the dreadful sight 
The guard above ran trembling with affright; 


No eye could that infuriate aspect bear,, 
Though perch 'd above and distant from the war, 
None/save Rinaldo's: he the fiend survey'd 
Fearless, and brandish 'd high his glittering blade. 
But pause we in the combat, till my song 
Tell what the monster was, and whence he sprung. 
He sprung from the dead corse of Grifon's Queen, 
By Hell engendered from Marchino's sin : 
From execrable lust he did proceed, 
The cursed offspring of that nameless deed. 
In bulk, a bull ; his front of dragon shape ; * 
And more than two full yards his horrid gape. 

t I cannot but think that Berni would have impressed on his readers 
a stronger idea of the terrific appearance of this monster, had he left 
the description of him short, as in the Crone's speech above : 

Un mostro contrafatto e scuro, 
Tanto ch' alcun non l'osa pur guardare ; 
L'orribil forma sua dir non ti posso. 

The difference of taste in Euripides and Seneca is very observable 
in their management of a similar subject. When the messenger, in 
the Hippolitus of Seneca, comes to tell Theseus the lamentable end 
of his son, the poet makes Theseus enquire what sort of a monster 
it was that came out of the sea? and then, before the audience are 
informed of what was the final event, he puts an accurate detailed 
description of the animal, occupying fourteen lines, into the mouth of 
the messenger. Euripides on the contrary, in his Hippolitus, represents 
Theseus as silent during the messenger's recital; and instead of labouring 
the description of the sea-monster, he says (after strongly painting the 
agitation and swelling of the sea) * that the waves advancing to the shore 

* deposited a bull — a fearful prodigy — with whose voice all the land being 

* filled, resounded so as to strike horror into the hearers, and whose 
« figure presented an object that overcame the sight of all beholders." 



Each tusk a span ; in look not fiercer seems 

The Boar, when red with rage his eyeball gleams i 

A monstrous horn from either temple sprung 

Which as he toss'd on high, the air around him rung. 

'Gainst those dread weapons nought resistance made : 

Through all they pass'd, like a well-temper'd blade 

With glaring colours shone his speckled hide; 

His shaggy beard with clotted gore was dy'd; 

And ev'ry traitor look the fiend belied. 

Fire glisten 'd in his eye ; his feet before 

For nails, the claws of Lybian lions bore. 

No cunning smith could e'er attemper steel 

The fury of his fierce attack to quell : 

For nothing might his fatal gripe abide 

Or pierce the scaly armour of his hide. 

Rear'd on his hinder legs, with open jaw 
The fiend rush'd on to gorge his rav'ning maw : 
But soon Rinaldo his keen sword display'd 
And like a whirlwind smote the monster's head. 
Loud roar'd the fiend, and rousing to the fight 
Drove those resistless claws against the knight : 
With active bound he shunn'd the coming shock ; 
But, glancing as it did/ the mighty stroke 
His hauberk where it fell and mail destroy'd, 
Transfix'd his belt, and tore his naked side. 
Weak as he was, yet all unus'd to dread, 
The higher swell'd his heart, the more he bled ; 

And grasping with both hands the ponderous blade, 

Again to tinge its glittering edge essay 'd. 

But fruitless was the blow ; in vain he tried 

Ev'n but to scar th' impenetrable hide. 

Now rage, unknown before, the monster felt : 

With horns, with tusks, with claws, his blows he dealt ; 

And though from skill oppos'd each onset fail'd, 

Unwearied still the fiend his prey assaiPd. 

Rinaldo, wasting with his wasting blood, 

Could feel no fear, though death before him stood ; 

For of a soul more gentle yet more bold, 

The page of knightly blazon has not told. 

Ev'n from the blush of day, the mortal fight 

Had lasted till th' late approach of night, 

When resolute to end the unequal strife 

Or close at once his long-defended life, 

Rinaldo, as the fiend in fury roar'd, 

Betwixt his jaws impelPd his biting sword — 

Ah luckless ! the fell monster from his hand 

Wrench'd, innocent of blood, the trusty brand. 

How could he now unarm'd such force repel ? 

Hope's last ray vanish'd, as the falchion fell : 

Beside the wall he stood expecting death — 

Here let me from this horrid combat breathe 

And tell of other woes of softer kind^ 

But woes more painful to a love-sick mind : 

This griev'd, because to certain fate expos'd ; 

This, that no friendly blow her sufferings clos'd. 


Angelica/' as late my tale express'd, 
Had Malagigi from his bonds releas'd, 
And sent him from Iberia's western verge 
To realms where Ganges rolls his hallow'd surge, 
O'er land, o'er seas, her much lov'd knight to find, 
And calm t!he storms of his disdainful mind ; 
Then, lapp'd in spells, the precious charge convey 
To taste her charms and all Albracca sway. 
Pensive the damsel sate, nor ceas'd to mourn; 
Expectant of her envoy's quick return. 
Ye, whom the wanton God has doom'd to prove 
The sad but soft anxieties of love, 
Ye what she felt may from experience know, 
And from your own may guess the damsel's woe. 
O'er hills, o'er dales, and o'er the peopled plain, 
And on the margin of the billowy main 
Alone she stray'd, and mark'd the bounding skies 
For the first glimpse if any sail should rise ; 

u Malagigi was eminently skilled in sorcery ; but having been 
subdued by the more powerful enchantments with which Angelica 
had been protected by her father Gelafron, she made him prisoner. 
Anxious however to effect a reconciliation with Rinaldo, she liberated 
Malagigi on condition of his bringing that Knight to her palace in 
Albracca. Malagigi practised his necromantic artifices, and deluded 
Rinaldo into the vessel which brought him to Altaripa, by making a 
Demon assume the appearance of a Knight, with whom he was under 
an engagement to fight, and fly as for refuge into it The bark bore 
Rinaldo to a voluptuous island, where the nymphs endeavoured to in- 
cline him to return Angelica's passion ; and Rinaldo, hurrying with 
indignation from that^ftace, landed accidentally on the shore of Al- 
taripa, as is related in the opening of this poem. 


And still as any bark approach'd the shore 
She fondly deem'd that each Rinaldo bore. 
Now baffled there., in turn the land she tried, 
Panting with hope if any knight she spied ; 
( 'Tis he — or 'tis some herald of his fame — ' 
But still the Knights pass'd on, and no Rinaldo came. 
Thus as the nymph indulg'd her mournful mood 
Alone before her Malagigi stood ; 
All comfortless, and in his rueful face 
The note of some misfortune you might trace; 
So woe-begone, that scarce he rais'd his eyes, 
And utter'd but a sound of heavy sighs. 
She shudder'd, and with ill-presaging brain 
( The deed/ she cried, ' is done ; the Knight is slain/ 
f Not slain — but ah ! too soon,' the Seer replied, 
( Too soon that worst of evils will betide ; 
<* So close beside him grins the meagre king, 
' No human power the needful aid can bring. 
' Curst be the time when he from love rebell'd, 
' And with the magic fount his bosom steel'd.' 
Then every chance the knowing wizard told 
That brought Rinaldo to that horrid hold, 
And all that had befalPn that fatal day, 
And of th' infernal beast just rushing on his prey. 
Ah, then what dire affliction seiz'd the fair ! 
She beat her snowy breast, she tore her hair; 
A chilly numbness crept in every vein, 
And pale she fell and senseless on the plain. 



Then, starting from the margin of the grave, 
' And is it thus/ she cried, * detested slave, 

* Thus that thy promis'd care my pain relieves ? 

* Thus that thy skill the task propos'd atchieves ? 
f Urge not of thy mistake the shallow plea 

€ Or gloss thy crimes with hope of serving me ; 

* Know'st thou not, wretch, if one were doom'd to die, 
f Rinaldo or myself, that one was I ? 

' I, than whom none more vile this earth deforms; 
' Him every beauty decks, each virtue warms ! 

* And thou, mistaken prophet, might'st have known 
< I shall not deign to live, when he is gone.' 

' Means yet of help remain,' the Sorcerer cried • 

c But, maid ! by thee alone they must be tried : 

e Haste then, the time can no delay allow — 

1 If aid can reach him, it must reach him now/ 

Then Malagigi's art a mass supplied 

Of wax, and magic toils with meshes wide, 

And pour'd into her ear the secret end 

Of each, and how she might her knight defend. 

Prompt at his potent voice a Demon came 
And on his back receiv'd the princely dame ; 
Then, urging with the speed of thought his flight, 
Paus'd o'er the bloody tomb ere close of night. 

Meantime in evil sort Rinaldo far'd ; 
Lqst was his sword ; no hope of life appear'd ; 
Still, shifting quick his ground, with eager pace 
-He cours'd the circuit of that dismal place- 


When lo ! from out the wall, a massy beam 
Midway betwixt the ground and summit came. 
To it with agile bound Rinaldo sprung, 
And catching with his arms beneath it hung, 
Till straining every nerve, his mighty weight 
Upwards he drew, and on the rafter sate. 
Below, the frantic beast his prey assaiPd 
With many an active leap, and scarcely fail'd ; 
Vast though he was and lumpish to the view, 
Full often to the beam itself he flew ; 
Full often in his gripe Rinaldo seem'd, 
And still to drag him down the savage deem'd. 

'Twas night; aloft upon the beam he sate 
Unconscious how to 'scape the menac'd fate; 
When by the wavering light that dimly shines 
As with the stars their silver sovereign joins, 
On the thin air a form was seen to tread 
Like the light shadow of a beauteous maid. 
VeiPd in the dusky night, the mournful dame 
To snatch her much-lov'd knight from slaughter 

Ah bootless ! at her sight the moody chief 
Preferred the death below to such relief : 
So stubborn was the hatred of the maid, 
He loath'd the boon she brought and spurn'd her aid. 

Pois'd on the buoyant air she seem'd to move,, 
And breath'd the tender accents of her love. 


c Oh, gentle youth ! though conscious I appear 
f The sad occasion of thy perils here, 
' What need I now my keen remorse explain 
e That erring love has caus'd my hero's pain — 
c Ah ! would that ev'ry pang thy mind has knowcr 
6 With tenfold weight had fall'n on me alone! 

* Fool that I was ! with idle hope I strove 

* To win thy wayward fancy to my love ; 

' I vainly sought thy valorous deeds to close 
c And lull thy softening mind to late repose : 

< For this, in evil hour, I gave command 

*. To waft thee wondering to my native land ; 

e For this, expos'd thee to unequall'd woe 

c And scarce now snatch thee from yon fiend below. 

* Shame, love, remorse, in my fond bosom strive, 

< And my tongue falters when I bid thee live ! 
' Ah ! loath not my embrace, nor now deny, 

J Wrapt in these arms, from threat'ning fate to fly. 
6 Deign, my lov'd lord, this tardy aid to use, 
' Nor steel'd with hate this one request refuse : 
r Fear not ; thy weight along the yielding air 

* To distant climes these tender arms shall bear.' 
The scornful chief, while anger fir'd his eye, 
Scarce heard the maid and gave this stern reply, 
Swelling with hate : x Oh ! bear me witness, Heav'n, 

- From whence my strength, my life, my soul is 


* For rather would I bow to tenfold death 
c Than owe to such curst aid my forfeit breath. 
' Hear my resolve : If longer here you stay, 
e I leap to yonder beast a willing prey ; 
c Choose as you list, or linger or away/ 

No rage in Woman's x mind so fiercely burns 
As hers, whose offer'd love its object scorns; 
For Nature did not frame the female breast 
For suing, but to be by suitors prest; 
Yet she, the fairest that the world could boast, 
To pride, to coyness, to resentment lost, 
Would still with growing fondness love the knight^ 
And still with gracious deeds his wrongs requite. 
Repuls'd, but not enrag'd, f Enough/ she said, 
' Enough; thy stern command shall be obey'd. 
c Superfluous word ! in vain my thoughts would 

r Against thy will, since 'tis for thee I live : 
c And could'st thou wish my death, myself that death 

would give. 
c Ah ! wherefore should thy mind such hatred bear? 
' 111 suits a mind so fierce, a form so fair, 

x Non crediate che sia maggiore sdegno 

Che quel di donna, quando e disprezzata— 

Perhaps these lines were in the contemplation of the English poet 
when he wrote 

Earth knows no rage like love to hatred turn'd^ 
Nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorn'd. 



e Scornful, 'tis true, and cruel thou may'st prove ; 
< Thou canst not change my soul and bid it cease to 

She said ; and gliding from th' indignant chief 
Prepar'd (unseen of all) a last relief. 
The adhesive wax before the fiend she flung, 
And all around the toils with caution hung : 
Instant he flew to glut his famish'd maw 
And fastened in the mass each struggling jaw : 
His useless teeth were clogg'd; he tore the ground 
And rush'd into the snare that hung around. 
This done, the Dame her magic steed bestrode, 
And through the rear of night returning rode. 

Now the bright star that wakes the drowsy day 
Shot from the radiant East his cheerful ray, 
And all that had befallen Rinaldo saw ; 
The fiend's entangled limbs and muzzled jaw; 
Then leap'd he from the rafter, and below 
Seiz'd his lost sword, and sprang against his foe. 
The fetter'd monster groan'd with hollow din 
That shook the clattering gates and rock'd the ground 

within ; 
And struggled with such fury as he lay 
That almost the enchanted snare gave way. 
But the bold Knight with new-born vigour prest 
And urg'd with constant blows the shackled beast ; 
Now here, now there, he drove his gleaming blade, 
Smote his broad sides and thunder'd on his head ; 


In vain ! the sword had left as deep a scar 
In adamant, or in the ambient air. 
Then by experience taught, his fierce attack 
Altering, he sprung upon the monster's back, „ 
And kneeling on the neck, with either hand 
Twitch'd the wide gullet, and his breath restraint ; 
Convuls'd, he heav'd, his nostrils staring wide ; 
His eyeballs crack'd, he writh'd, he gasp'd, he died; 
And stretch'd before the tomb, his tumid corse 
Lay, the dire proof of great Rinaldo's force, 




In Babylon there liv'd a courteous knight; 
Iroldo was his name; renown'd in fight. 
Blest in Tisbina's love, the fairest dame 
That ever Nature form'd of mortal frame, 
For her alone with grateful warmth he glow'd, 
Nor one short thought but on his Queen bestow'd : 
Arms, pomp and festive joys, the youth resign'd; 
Tisbina's charms alone engross'd his mind. 

Not far from their abode a Peer there dwell'd, 
Who all the flower of Babylon excell'd, 
In peace a mien so gentle did he bear, 
Though dreadful in his might, and fierce in war. 
His wealth in treats and knightly splendour flow'd, 
And bounty ; ever blest in others good : 
Gay, frank, and handsome, steady to his trust, 
At banquets gamesome, active in the just, 


With gallantries the weaker sex he won, 
And others hearts subdued, but kept his own. 

It chanc'd this knight, Prasildo, to a feast 
(When spring began to bloom) was bid a guest, 
Where many a lovely dame, and many a lord, 
But most, the fair Tisbina, grac'd the board. 
The banquet o'er, they pass'd to sport and play 
Where (deck'd with arbours trim) a garden lay : 
Hither the frolic knights and ladies came 
To revel at their will ; and this the game. 
One sat upon the ground ; another laid 
(Bandag'd) upon the sitter's lap his head : 
His right hand on his back with knots confin'd, 
A butt for little blows from those behind ; 
And if, as any struck, he guess'd the name, 
The striker in his turn must try the same : 
The former freed now sat upon the ground 
And held the muffled head ; and so the game went 

Thus in her turn as fair Tisbina sate 
Love, ever glad new troubles to create, 
Pitch'd on Prasildo 'midst the laughing band, 
And urg'd to try the chance and touch her hand : 
Then grav'd his name on her unconscious tongue; 
Instant on him the penal cord was flung ; 
She took the sitter's place; he (reckless) laid 
Upon her, as she sate, his muffled head : 


Quick through his veins an unknown transport run ; 
(Love smil'd, for all the mischief then was done) 
And fearful from her arms to be releas'd, 
He seldom felt a blow, and never rightly guess'd. 

Thus revel'd they, till in the deep'ning shade 
The purple tints of day began to fade : 
But still from hour to hour Prasildo's brain 
Dwelt on Tisbina with increasing pain. 
His spirits flagg'd ; his visage pale and thin, 
Too plainly shew'd that all was wrong within; 
Yet as his friends enquiring throng'd around 
For his wan looks he fresh pretences found ; 
And to his lady's fame he was so true 
That none his secret passion from him drew, 
Though well himself the fatal mischief knew. 
Sleepless, to him far harder seem'd the down, 
Than the bare earth, or beds of rugged stone : 
No comfort could he find ; his tortur'd thought 
Fresh fuel from its own reflexion caught; 
For Love, with new-born wishes ever glows, 
And infinite, no term or measure knows. 

His dogs of graceful form and generous race, 
His neighing coursers and the jovial chace, 
Amus'd no more ; yet these again he tried, 
But scarce endur'd what once was all his pride* 
The sumptuous feast with tempting viands stor'd ; 
The quips, the cranks, that crown the festive board, 



The dance, the solemn harp, the sounding lute, 
And the rich music of the mellow flute; 
The listed field, where valour loves to strive, 
And all the proud array that wealth can give, 
By turns he vainly sought ; and though before 
His bounties had not sham'd a monarch's store, 
Those bounties now were doubled; for the mind 
Is by the gracious touch of love refin'd; 
And ever does that purifying fire 
Sublimer thoughts in virtuous men inspire. 

Worn out at last, he sought the fair to move, 
And satisfy, if not overcome his love ; 
And by a cautious dame, Tisbina's friend, 
Whispers of amorous import learnt to send. 
Constant, from day to day he still assaiPd 
Her heart in secret ; but he ne'er prevail'd : 
For she whose mind was, as her features, fair, 
His gifts rejected, and contemn'd his prayer: 
Her lord alone she lov'd ; to him her mind, 
Its hope, its transport, and its trust confin'd. 

But when Prasildo saw her fix'd disdain, 
And found his tears, his costly offers vain : 
As the gay flower that on the enamel'd mead, 
Cropt by the ploughshare droops its withering head; 
As ice, that fades beneath the solar ray, 
He sicken'd at her scorn and pin'd away : 
In dumb despair. he drew his languid breath, 
And hop'd no refuge but the house of death ; 


So changed in every feature, voice and hue, 

That scarce his friends their lov'd companion knew. 

Oft from the meddling eye of censure free 

And cheerful hum of throng'd society, 

His couch he left, what time the morn distils 

The glistering dewdrops from her golden wheels, 

And pensive wander' d through the lonely grove 

To vent unseen the sorrows of his love. 

Thus while he languish'd, at the blush of day 
Iroldo and Tisbina chanc'd to stray 
To the deep shades of that sequester'd dell 
Where the sad Knight his woe was wont to tell. 
When sudden from the dingle broken cries 
And sobs arose, and plaints and hollow sighs ; 
For at that very time the Knight was laid 
On the cold bosom of the darkling glade, 
And wept, and in such moving sounds exprest 
The frozen virtues of Tisbina's breast, 
That Zeph} r r as he pass'd the voice might hear, 
And stay'd his purple wings, and drop'd a tear. 
' Oh ! listen to my griefs/ Prasildo cried, 
1 Since she, the cruel dame, that boon denied ; 
' Thou, Sun ! who through a dark and devious way 
( Hast lifted up again thy sacred ray; 

< Ye stars ! that dimly twinkle in the rear 

c Of darkness, ere ye fade, my sorrows hear. 

< Oh ! witness all my love, and all my woes, 
c And of a wretched life the wretched close: 


r So shall the haughty fair who caus'd my pain 
( Smile, in the rancour of her deep disdain ; 
' So shall one act of mine this tyrant please, 

* And what my life inflames, my death appease : 

* Yet ever as I wept my griefs alone 

f And none my silent anguish e'er have known, 
c May never babbling fame this act reveal, 

* But my pale corse this lonely grove conceal : 

* Lest what her scorn has wrought should raise one sigh 
' Or tinge with late regret Tisbina's eye. 

( Oh ! never may this blow that ends my pain 
f The pure remembrance of her virtues stain ? 

Thus, resolute to die, Prasildo pour'd 
His last lament, and drew his fatal sword : 
And, as he set the point against his breast, 
His farewell breath Tisbina's name exprest: 
For by that hallow'd name he sought to move 
Offended Heav'n, and share the bliss above. 

Meantime concealed among the tangled boughs 
She listen'd to the story of his woes; 
And good Iroldo felt for every groan, 
Measuring Prasildo's passion by his own. 
But soon between the two a plan was laid : 
Tisbina sudden issued from the glade, 
While hid within the brake Iroldo staid. 

Just at that moment stood the dame confess'd 
When the keen point had touch'd Prasildo's breast. 


But she, with purposed negligence, forbore 
To mark the dismal gloom his aspect wore. 
Nor in her voice, nor gesture might appear 
That his unholy purpose reach'd her ear ; 
But that his mournful mood and heavy sighs 
As near she stray'd, had thither drawn her eyes. 
Then thus : ( Prasildo, if thy ardent love '} 

c Be true, as thou hast often sought to prove ; 
'* Now leave me not a prey to shame and grief, 
' When none, but thou alone, can yield relief. 
( Think not, that were th' impending sorrow light, 
' My pride would stoop to claim thee for my knight ; 
< For nought can livelier shame in woman move 
' Than thus to sue for once rejected love. 

* Thy breast has with unequalPd ardour burn'd ; 
' And mine, alas ! a chill disdain return'd ; 

c But alter'd is my soul ; and thou shalt know 

* That ev'n this heart with grateful love can glow : 
' Tisbina shall be thine, if e'er thy sword 

'■ The treasure, that her safety claims, afford. 

( Far in the dismal range of Barca's sands, 
' With iron walls begirt, a garden stands, 
( Four gates it has, and spacious roads beneath, 
' I Life watches one, another, griesly Death ; 
' Wealth guards the third; and Poverty the last; 
c And he who through one portal safe has past, 

* Must keep the straightway path that leaves the door, 
' And issue forth from that which stands before. 


* Right in the midst a tree its height extends 
f As high as a strong bow its arrow sends ; 

f The tree of Wealth. No copious tongue can tell 
' In its vast bulk what countless treasures dwell ; 

* Pellucid Pearl in every blossom glows ; 

r The fruit of Emerald, and of Gold the boughs. 
( Of this one little branch my needs require : 
' And if thy breast a constant passion fire 
6 (Though perilous and strange th' adventure be) 
( Yet wilt thou win the bough, and with it me,' 

Thus as her grief the fair Tisbina told 
And nam'd her forfeit for the branch of gold; 
Delirious passion fir'd Prasildo's brain, 
And Hope, triumphant, swell'd in every vein. 
Eager he vow'd that instant to fulfil 
(No circumstance forgot) Tisbina's will; 
And had the dame yet stranger deeds propos'd, 
With all her wish the amorous Knight had clos'd ; 
Howe'er with perils dire and hardships fraught, 
Beyond the power of speech or grasp of thought : 
Light had it seem'd to wage ethereal war 
And from the sphere to pluck each pendent star; 
To turn the lightning, stormy winds to stay, 
Or snatch its radiance from the lamp of day. 

Phrenzied with love, and of success secure, 
His enterprize might no delay endure. 
From the fair dame he took a short adieu, . 
A pilgrim's garment o'er his armour threw: 


,And issuing from his palace, rapid past 

O'er many a spacious realm, and many a dreary 

Oh ! tedious was his toil : in lands afar 
Shone the rich object of his knightly care. 
So distant, that ere yet in dangerous hour 
He reached the destin'd place, Medusa's bower, 
Tisbina deem'd his love might waste away 
And Reason o'er his mind resume her sway : 
But more, full well the crafty damsel knew 
That never to his vow could knight be true, 
Whoe'er, by rash design or fortune led, 
Beheld the treasures of that wond'rous mead. 
For there the Mistress of the powerful spell 
(Protectress of the tree) was known to dwell : 
So charm'd her features that no mortal's eye 
Might view them, but at once his sense would fly ; 
Tb' occasion of his coming, and the dame triumph'd in his heart, his hopes, his fame 
Would melt, at that curst influence, from his mind 
(Like morning dreams) nor leave a trace behind. 

Prasildo, strong with hope, all toil defied ; 
Alone, unless by love accompanied — 
Already had he left th* Arabian plain 
And crost with favouring gales the narrow main, 
Pass'd the rich vale where Nile his wealth distils 
And the rude heights of Barca's barrier hills, 


AVhen, near the waste,, where broods the purple gloom / 
Where Nature seem'd to pause, and Life had never 

Prop'd on his staff an aged man he found, 
Whose brow the silver badge of Wisdom crown'd. 
To him with anxious heart the knight drew near 
Some tidings of the golden tree to hear ; 
Well knowing that from age experience flows, 
And leaned experience lurks in wrinkled brows. 
In courtly phrase this hermit he bespoke 
And told him why so wild a path he took ; 
And humbly from his grace instruction erav'd, 
Where in those realms the golden branches wav'd, 
f Sir Knight/ he said, ' some angel sure must guide 
( Thy favour'd footsteps through this desert wide : 
f No lips but mine can all the charms disclose 
( That o'er th' enchanted ground Medusa throws : 
' Fruitless were all thy toil, untaught by me ; 
( But now thou shalt succeed and win the wond'rous 

( Thou seek'st to reach the gate and pass within ; 
( Unconscious, that thy perils there begin : 
' Each gate to thee may seem alike; but none 
' Through Life or Death have e'er successful gone : 
f Through Poverty alone the place is found 

* Where dire Medusa fiinsrs her mairic round. 

o o 

y The Simoom, or Purple Haze, in the air of the deserts, from which 
caravans experience the most fatal effects. 


c Haply, thou know'st not of that wond'rous dame, 

? For ne'er hast thou pronoune'd her dreaded name. 

' Know then the fair Enchantress sits helow 

( And guards by day and night each precious hough : 

' Her features are impressed with witcheries, 

' And in each glance oblivious dotage flies, 

< That stuns the senses, strikes the reason blind, 

< And all the past expunges from the mind. 

' But could the dame herself that face behold, 
f Herself would fly, nor heed the trusted gold, 
c Thou therefore, tutor'd to elude the charm, 
' Bear for a shield this mirror on thine arm, 
( That as she bends on thee her magic eyes, 
' Her visage from the polish'd glass may rise, 
( And terrify her mind, and force her from the pri 
c Wear not thy vest, or glittering arms, but be 
e Unclad, as fits the path of penury : 
c Nor at the portal start, where all around 
e Detested spectres 2 taint the steril ground; 

z As I think Berni had Virgil's assemblage of good company in the 
entrance of Ms hell, in contemplation, when he wrote the original of this 
passage, I shall transcribe them both. 

Vestibulum ante ipsum primisque in faucibus orci 
Luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae : 
Pallentesqxie habitant Morbi, tristisque Senectus 
Et Metus et malesuada Fames et turpis Egestas, 
Terribiles visu formse; Lethumque, Labosque; 
Turn consanguineus Lethi Sopor, et mala mentis 
Gaudia, mortiferumque adverso in limine Bellum 
Ferreique Eumenidum thalami et Discordia demens 
Vipereum crinem vittis innexa craentis. Virg. /En. 1. v'i. 

ie prize. > 


* Where human ills in squadrons line the gates, 
f And bitter mockery still behind them waits. 

Quivi sta la Miseria-e la Vergogna 
La Fame, il Freddo, e la Malinconia, 
Le BefFe, il Scorno, il Scherno e la Rampogna ; 
In terra giace la furfanteria, 
Ch' ha sempremai gli stinchi pien di rogna ; 
Evvi l'lndustria e la Poltroneria; 
Da una banda e la Compassione 
E da un altra la Disperazione. 

All' opposita porta onde ha uscire 
Troverai che si siede la Ricchezza, 
Odiata assai ma non se 1' osa dire, 
Ella nol cura ed' ogni cosa sprezza : 
Quivi del ramo bisogna offerire 
Perche la porta t'apra con prestezza 
Avarizia, ch' a lato a lei si siede 
Quanto piu se le da, sempre piu chiede. 

Tu vedrai quivi la Pompa e l'onore 
L'Adulazione e 1' Intrattenimento, 
L'Ambizion, la Grandezza, e'l Favore j 
E poi l'lnquietudine e'l Tormento, 
La Gelosia, il Sospetto, e'l Timore 
E la Sollecitudine e'l Spavento 5 
Dietro alia porta poi l'Odio e' l'lnvidia 
E con un' arco teso sta l'lnsidia. 

As my own conception of the original has been much heightened by 
similar passages from the master hands of Dryden and Gray, it would be 
assuming a merit which is not my due, if I did not lay before my readers 
Mr. Dryden's translation of the above lines in Virgil, and an inimitable 
stanza in Mr. Gray's Ode on the Prospect of Eton College. 

Just in the gate and in the jaws of Hell 
Revengeful Cares and sullen Sorrows dwell j 


c In that sad porch a thousand shapes are seen 

c More terrible than fits the view of men : 

c On one side sober Industry appears, 

< And Pity, smiling through the mist of tears : 

' The other Sloth, and Shame, and Theft deform, 

' And Cold, that shudders at the fancied storm ; 

And pale Diseases and repining Age ; 

"Want, Fear, and Famine's unresisted rage ; 

Here Toils and Death, and Death's half-brother Sleep 

(Forms terrible to view) their centry keep ; 

With anxious Pleasures of a guilty Mind; 

Deep Frauds before and open force behind ; 

The Furies iron beds and Strife, that shakes 

Her hissing tresses and unfolds her snakes. 

Dry. Virg. 

These shall the Fury, Passions, tear, 
The Vultures of the mind, 
Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear 
And Shame, that skulks behind ; 
Or pining Love shall waste their youth, 
Or Jealousy with rankling tooth 
That inly gnaws the secret heart ; 
And Envy wan and faded Care, 
Grim visag'd comfortless Despair, 
And Sorrow's piercing dart. 

Gray's Poems. 

This is the language of real poetry, which is not often heard : it was 
only for Dr. Johnson and those who were, like him, equally destitute of 
taste and of an acquaintance with the principles of Aristotelian criticism 
to object to it as cumbrous or as puerile, I will not swell this note (al- 
ready too long) with further quotations ; but I cannot dismiss the pas- 
sage, without referring my readers to Dryden's Palemon and Arcite, 



€ Craft, crawling on the ground ; Reproach and Strife, 
r And Famine, ebbing to the close of life : 
' And marble Melancholy, Scorn, and Care ; 
< And with his iron dagger, fell Despair. 

e But at the gate through which your outlet lies, 
*■ Wealth governs, who the world's regard defies ; 

* By all detested, but reprov'd by none, 

* She takes from Envy's hand, the tribute to her throne. 
f No passage may her venal will allow 

( Till won by proffers of the golden bough ; 
' For Avarice, her portress, guards the door, 

* And still the more she gets, she covets more. 

* Around the Idol's throne, a splendid band, 

* Pride, Grandeur, Pomp, and worldly Favour stand ; 

* And Adulation, trick'd with specious lies, 

* And vast Ambition tow'ring to the skies. 
' But Jealousy and Tremors skulk behind ; 

* And Doubt, and Pangs of an unquiet mind ; 
' Solicitude, and Pain, and Plottings deep ; 

c And Vigilance, that dries the dew of Sleep ; 

* While Treachery with ever bended bow 

' And Spleen and Hate and Rancour lurk below.' 

Thus when the Sage had to Prasildo told 
The perils that beset that Tree of Gold, 
Thrice ten successive journies march'd the knight 
Ere yet the iron walls appear'd in sight. 
But when arriv'd, he sought the expanded gate 
Where Poverty maintains her squallid state, 


No obstacle he found, the phantoms near 
All urg'd him to approach and enter there. 

In that fair garden pleasure breath'd around, 
With laughing flowers and cheerful verdure crown'd ; 
Bliss, that celestial virtue might destroy, 
And melt ev'n Wisdom to voluptuous joy. 
But he, forewarn'd, before his visage held 
Th' insidious splendor of the glassy shield, 
Medusa's fatal glances to repel 
And on herself to turn the potent spell; 
Nor ever from the pathway look'd aside, 
But onward to the golden center hied, 
Where, on the trunk reclin'd, the guardian dame 
Rais'd her dread eyes, and met the mirror frame. 
But not as erst appeared that magic face 
With roseate beauties crown'd and angel grace; 
The guileful glass deform'd each feature fair 
And twin'd with snakes her hyacinthine hair : 
That, panic struck, no more she thought to guard 
The treasures trusted to her powerful ward, 
But shrinking from th' invulnerable knight 
To distant regions sped her hasty flight. 
Then, when her sounding wings Prasildo heard, 
Nor more the perils of her aspect fear'd, 
He dropp'd his Shield ; and in the conquer'd charms 
View'd the sure passport to Tisbina's arms. 
Quick severing with his falchion from the stem 
One spreading branch, that burnt with many a gem, 


He took the forward path., and sought the gate 
Where Wealth with her pernicious courtiers sate. 

Of Loadstone was the pile : around it plied 
Deep Fraud and Toil, th' approaching step to guide : 
For many tread the path of tempting gold, 
But none the stubborn portal can unfold, 
Till Fame before him with resistless breath 
Burst the firm bolts, and clear th' obstructed path. 
But open flew the gates with hideous din 
What time Prasildo broke the spell within ; 
And when, low bending to the gorgeous throne, 
He offer'd half the spoil his shield had won, 
With greedy hand the Port'ress caught the prey, 
And pointed out the road, and sped him on his way. 

Judge now, if jocund is Prasildo's breast, 
The prize within his reach to be possest? 
Turn'd towards the rising Sun, he takes the road 
Through Nubia's desert far from Man's abode : 
So eager does he burn his love to see, 
A moment seems a week, a week a century. 
For rest or food he spares but small delay, 
Journeying by day and night, by night and day, 
Till Babylonish accents meet his ears, 
Till dim and distant Babylon appears, 
Till of his Lady's life and health he hears, 
Till, trembling, in her sight at last he stands 
And tells the achievement of her high commands, 


* For her lie toil'd, for her the prize he won, 

' And when she chose the exacted branch her own — 

' But gaining such a precious gem, 'twere need 

s Her love should be prepar'd to give the meed ; 

' For should she now that promis'd boon deny, 

' 'Twere hopeless but her faithful Knight would die.' 

While yet he speaks, she feels a chilly smart 
As ice itself were gliding through her heart : 
No answer can she make— away she flies, 
And stretch'd upon her couch in sorrow lies, 
And sobs succeed to sobs, and sighs to sighs. 
Amazement, horror, self-reproach, despair 
And agony of grief her bosom tear : 
She doubts ; she thinks things are not as they seem ; 
And fain would make the whole an empty dream : 
Then to her sickening thought the Knight appears, 
And his last words yet tingle in her ears. 
' What refuge ?' she exclaims ; e What hope for me 
' Whose woe is past the reach of remedy ? 

* If, dying, the due forfeit I avoid, 

? So shall I, by deceit, my follies hide ? 
' Fool ! to suppose that ever Love would weigh 
' The toils or dangers that before him lay ! 
( Love, at whose breath opposing perils fade, 
' Quell'd by no labour, by no threats dismay'd; 

* Love, who the sightless power of spells derides 
( And safe his votary from Medusa guides ! 


f Ah, my lov'd Lord ! thy ruin springs from mine — 
' Such is the just return for love like thine ! 
' What, though the fatal plan by thee was laid, 
' By me, by me the forfeit must be paid. 
' Oh ! had mine ears been deaf ! and as the grave 
' Mute the curst organ that this promise gave! 
' This sad, this fatal promise, which destroys 
' Tisbina's fame and life, and all Iroldo's joys!' 
But not alone she griev'd ; her lord was by, 
Sunk at each groan, and wept at every sigh ; 
But when he learnt th' occasion why she mourn 'd, 
The scheme miscarried, and the knight return'd ; 
Unmov'd he stood and speechless ; till his woe 
Burst into sound, and tears began to flow. 
Prone on the couch he fell, and to his breast 
In ecstasy of grief Tisbina prest ; 
Tears follow'd tears, like floods from Alpine snow 
When the Sun flames upon Imaus' brow; 
And sobs alone the mournful silence broke; 
Till rousing from his trance Iroldo spoke. 
t That thou should'st mourn for fancied wrath in me 

* Is the worst pang of all my misery : 

e Tis true — and thou (whose every grace combin'd 
c Yields to the brighter beauties of thy mind) 
< Know'st that the breast no keener pang assails 
1 Than when the eyes of Love suspicion veils. 
' But wherefore should I doubt thee ? I, whose will 

* Is the dire source of this unlook'd for ill ? 


' Tis I, from whom this part of horror springs ; 
e 1, that must feel the penitence it brings ; — 

* If thou must sin, thy shame proceeds from me ; 
s Then be it mine to bear the penalty. 

e Oh ! sport not with thy faith — a promise giv'n 

' Is sacred in the righteous eyes of Heav'n : 

' Then by that love which long our hearts has warm'd, 

' Be this to brave Prasildo now perform 'd : 

' Much peril has he dar'd, much toil endur'd; 

* And what our craft requir'd by arms procur'd. 
' Yet pause, while yet I live ; no Sun again 

* Shall view me, lingering here in life and pain ; 
' Let none then while I live, my joys assume! 

f No wrongs affect the tenant of the tomb. 
' Yet could I when from irksome life set free, 
' Wake to the cruel lot reserv'd for thee, 
' My soul, if souls could die, would feel again 

* The pang of death, and share Tisbina's pain.' 

He said— grief dimm'd his eyes and clogg'd his 
tongue ; 
Unfmish'd on his lips the accents hung 
As sorrow from its seat his heart had wrung. 
< Think'st thou,' Tisbina said, c my love so slight 
( That danger can my mind from duty fright? 
' Think'st thou, that I, forgetful of my faith, 
' Can cherish life beyond Iroldo's death ? 
' Where is the love thy heart so long has borne ? 
' Th' inseparable bonds so often sworn j 



' Thine am I, thine have been, and thine will be ; 

* Though chang'd in death, unchang'd in constancy. 

' If, when the form decays, affection live ; 

< If yet beyond the grave the mind survive, 

' Oh ! never be it written, never said, 

' That without thine appeared Tisbina's shade ! 

' Nor mourn I, as I once had mourn'd, thy doom, 

c Since I, thy wife, attend thee to the tomb — 

' And oh ! that in that tomb these limbs were laid 

c Spotless, ere yet the curst reward were paid ! 

f The means are in my power; a balm I know, 

( Shall pour a grateful slumber on our woe; 

' So dragg'd, so tempered for the work of death, 

€ That in five hours we both shall cease to breath—* 

e Five hours ! enough to seal Tisbina's shame ! 

' No longer forfeit can Prasildo claim; 

f Then in eternal slumber all our woes 

f (Offspring of thoughtless pity) shall repose/ 

Thus in their loves as in their sorrows join'd, 
The order of their death this pair design'd; 
Half choak'd with grief, their eyelids neither mov'd, 
Fearful to catch the face so long belov'd : 
And still as either strove to leave the place 
They turn'd again to weep and took a last embrace. 
Tisbina first recover'd : forth she sent 
A trusty slave to speed her dire intent. 
Soon sent, she soon return'd ; a Leech of skill 
In herbs of every power, to save or kill, 


Dwelt near at hand ; to him the damsel told 
Tisbina's wish, and shew'd persuasive gold. 
He heard the sad request, but nought rejoin'd, 
And seem'd awhile to poise it in his mind ; 
But soon resolving, from his drugs he chose 
A balm of sovereign use in human woes, 
And silent brought it forth ; th' attendant took 
In silence ; but their eyes the purpose spoke. 

Iroldo, when he grasp'd the vase of death 
And opening view'd the liquid sleep beneath, 
( Welcome ! he said ; c since nought but this can 

' The woes that fate has doom'd us both to feel, 
' Welcome, thou last sad refuge ! to my heart 
* (What envious life denies) thy balm impart.' 
He said; and to his lips the fatal draught 
Applying, half the sweet oblivion quaff'd. 

Thus far the task was easy ; what remain'd 
Ev'n he, the firm Iroldo, scarce sustain'd. 
How could he give to her that fatal vase? 
How to her lips the measur'd poison raise ? 
He paus'cl ; a he trembled : with averted look 
And outstretch'd arms the fatal cup he took, 

a Casta suo gladium cum traderet Arria Poeto 
Quern de visceribus traxerat ipsa suis, 
Si qua fides, vulnus quod feci, non dolet, inquit ; 
Sed quod tu fades, hoc mihi Pcete dolet. 

Mart. 1. 14. 



And held it to his wife— a sudden chill 

Shot through his frame; and all his blood stood still: 

And grief almost forestalPd the medicated ill. 

She, with unsteady hand and streaming eye, 

Fixt not to live and yet afraid to die, 

Caught the dire cup ; and sighing while she viewed 

Her portion of their common bane or good, 

A little of her ill-star'd love complain'd ; 

Then gaz'd upon her Lord and all the poison drain 'd. 

Thus nobly having barter'd life for fame, 
To other woes recurr'd the grieving dame ; 
Yet doom'd to suffer ere she closed her eyes, 
The mind's sad wound, the sharper sacrifice. 
To dig seem'd hard ; but harder far to gain 
By dying no defence from amorous stain : 
Yet plighted was her word ; 'twas hers to pay 
The debt, and little good from poor delay: 
With wavering step she hurried through the street 
And shrunk from fancied scorn in all she met : 
Scarce conscious where she went or what she said 
Till at Prasildo's gate her step she staid. 

The gate was open'd ; in Prasildo's ear 
Was whisper'd what he most desir'd to hear. 
But what, once told, his hope could scarce conceive ; 
He sprung away and hastening to receive, 
With all the honors that respect could frame 
Or equipage afford, the beauteous dame, 



Where greeting should have been and warm salute 
Shame took the voice from Love and held him mute. 
He would have bid her welcome ; would have said 
How richly all his toil was then repaid ; 
But conscious of his purpose, of a deed 
By knighthood scorn'd, though valour won the meed, 
He look'd like one in secret mischief caught 5 
And durst not trust his tongue to tell his thought ; 
But blushes spoke the guilt that in him wrought. 
At length he led her to a lonely room 
Where no intruding eye or ear might come, 
And whispering sounds that would relieve despair, 
Or sooth to smiles the canker'd lips of Care, 
To calm her fears with soft caresses strove, 
And win her modest mind to yielding love : 
For he ascrib'd to shame her downcast mien, 
Nor dreamt that Death was busied in the scene. 
Earnest and long he press'd her to disclose 
(Ah! blind to fate!) the secret of her woes: 
And proffer'd all his wealth or power could do, 
Nay, ev'n his life, that anguish to subdue. 
Persuaded, at the last she rais'd her head 
And told him what, when heard, he wished unsaid : 
' That love which you have sought, Sir Knight, is 

yours : 
' And shall be, while I live — four fleeting hours. 
* Your compact is perform'd, and won the bough : 
' Lo, then, I come, observant of my vow. 


c But life I must not keep, my honor lost, 
f And him, whom I regret in dying most : 
** Willing I hide me from the world and thee, 

* Whose luckless love has seal'd my destiny. 

6 If, while my maiden vows were yet my own, 

e Thy excellence, Prasilclo, I had known : 

c Nor cold had been my heart, nor thou, Sir Knight, 

f Pin'd, unrequited, from Tisbina's slight. 

' Tis past : no double flame can Love allow : 

* Iroldo has my faith, my pity, thou : 

* That pity, from thy former suffering sprung, 
f This labyrinth of woe has round me flung ; 

' I sought to save thy life ; and in thy stead 
' Of mine th' untimely forfeit must be paid. 

* My hours ev'n now are number'd ; and with mine 
f Iroldo's thread our envious fates entwine.' 

Then of her wiles his constant love to change, 
Or his whole mind from former thoughts estrange, 
Of all, she told, their desperate grief had plann'd, 
The bowl divided, and her death at hand. 

While yet she spoke fear froze Prasildo's breast ; 
Ere half the tale was done he knew the rest : 
Oh, Agony ! when blest he seem'd to be, 
To sink at once to depth of misery ! 
Just when success appear' d his suit to crown, 
To clasp her dying whom he fancied won. 
Pensive he said at last — c To Heaven and thee 
' Worthless hath seem'd Prasildo's courtesy : 


c That of the dreadful deeds the world has known, 

( This, eminent in woe, might stand alone. 

' Two lovers often have by Love been raught, 

e But never three before to ruin brought 

e With misery so refin'd; and ev'n for nought. 

' Why did'st thou fear, too little trusting dame, 

c From me, once tried, thy forfeit to reclaim ? 

€ Say'st thou, 'twas pity for Prasildo's woes 

' That bad thee for his safety interpose ? 

< No — 'twas the cruel temper of thy heart 

c That wish'd a double sorrow to impart : 

6 What? was my love so hateful, that the grave 

e A refuge less abhorr'd and hideous gave ? 

c Why then prevent my death ? in yonder grove 

' Why bid me live, if you disdain'd mr love ? 

( Why did you then this fatal pact propose 

' From whence this triple work of horror flows ? 

' Heav'n knows I sought thy love — but never sought 

' To injure what I lov'd in deed or thought: 

' Ev'n now, howe'er thy foul suspicion wrong 

' My purity, from inbred honor sprung, 

* Th} T self shall judge how innocent it glows, 

( When, yet untouch'd, I give thee all thy vows. 

' Free and absolv'd thou art— to go— -or stay — * 

He ceas'd : for passion took his voice away. 

Tisbina's gentle heart such anguish mov'd ; 
She saw he suffer'd and forgot he lov'd : 



And thoughtless of her own approaching doom, 
Long vainly tried to cheer Prasildo's gloom. 

She tried, but what she said was lost in air :. ._ 
The manner how to die was all his care. 
Speechless he seem'd to be, and deaf and blind ; 
Despair benumb'd the organs of his mind. 
A mass of deadly projects rose within, 
But nought that pass'd without was heard or seen ; 
He kiss'd her, but his kiss was cold ; he took 
Her hand ; but vacancy was in his look : 
He led her to the gate, and bade adieu ; 
But saw not when or whither she withdrew : 
Thoughts followed thoughts; but none could give 

And madness had been mercy to his grief. 

Meantime Tisbina to her house returned, 
Where still with muffled eyes Iroldo mourn'd; 
And told him how Prasildo's courtesy 
Had only ta'en one kiss and left her free. 
But scarcely had she spoken, scarce her lord 
Kneeling, some grateful thanks to Heaven had pour'd ; 
When creeping in her veins the opiate stay'd 
Tisbina's pulse, and all her senses fled. 
Without a groan she sank, as Death had drest 
His terrors in refreshing slumber's vest, 
And quiet as she lay, the sov'reign balm 
Seem'd o'er her mind to shed a grateful calm. 


see, "J 
:ree, J 


But when the sudden swoon Iroldo view'd. 
Ungovernable grief his heart subdu'd : 
He blam'd the Sun that could such mischief see, 
And tax'd the Saints of Heav'n with cruelty; 
And bitterly complain'd of Love's unjust deer 
But leave we him to mourn his woful fate ; 
And turn to one not less disconsolate. 
Absorb'd in horrid thoughts Prasildo kept 
Apart from every friend, and ceaseless wept. 
' Crawls there upon this earth,' he oft would cry, 

* A wretch more abject, more forlorn than I ? 
e Is this, then, for my faith, the just return? 

' The perils I have dar'd, the labors borne? 

1 Is this the product of Tisbina's vow ? 

' The fruit expected from the golden bough ? 

i Oh! if there be or Saints or Gods that know 

< Th' inexplicable turns of fate below, 

e If they, whom Cupid rules, have any share 

' In the vast range of Heav'n's parental care, 

* Oh ! think if all th' extent of human woe 

c One instance of distress like mine can shew !' 

Meantime the Sage to whom Tisbina's grief 
Had trusted for a sad but last relief, 
Fearful of other treacheries yet behind 
From the dark workings of a woman's mind, 
(For well the voice of Rumour had made known 
Prasildo's love, th' adventure, and the boon) 


With hasty step Prasildo's palace sought,, 

And told him all he knew and all he thought : 

' Her to whose hand the drug was giv'n,' he said, 

e Long have I known full well; Tisbina's maid. 

' But if what I suspect, my lord, he true ; 

' If what was giv'n for her, be meant for you ; 

f If thus her forfeit honour she would save, 

' And give you, for her love, an early grave ; 

' My caution, in this deed, has stept between 

' Her wish and the completion of her sin. 

' This drug on which the treacherous dame relies 

< The terrors of its deadly force belies : 

*" And he who drinks, howe'er his vital powers 

*■ Be stai$, and still his breath for five long hours, 

( Wears but the outward garb of icy death 

( While life in secret embers glows beneath.' 

These tidings as Prasildo heard, again 
The languid currents rush'd in every vein, 
As, when the storm descends, the batter'd flower 
Fades in each tint, and sickens at the shower, 
Till the bright Sun its drooping life renews 
And wakes the gloss in all its varied hues : 
So, desperate as he was, the Sage's word 
New vigor to Prasildo's mind restored. 

What need to tell what store of thanks he gave 
To the good man, whose providence could save 
Three forfeit lives ? Yet little time he staid, 
But went where mimic death his pageant play'd: 



And o'er Iroldo's grief a cheerful ray 

Shed, like Aurora's beams that chase the night away : 

The ecstasies Iroldo felt, I leave 

To you, that hear my story, to conceive ; 

But let my verse to future times declare 

The noble contest of that knightly pair; 

Each anxious to resign the much-lov'd dame, 

This urg'd the bough, atchiev'd with matchless fame 

And that by marriage rites Iroldo's prior claim. 

Nor lightly did they strive ; whoever won 

Lost what his heart ador'd, but gain'd renown. 

With prayers, with reasons each his friend assail'd ; 

Till at the last Prasildo's plea prevaird, b 

And with the martial trophies worn before 

The brighter palm of courtesy he bore. 

Instant, ere yet Iroldo's firmer frame 

Felt the slow drug ; ere yet awak'd the dame, 

Warm'd with that joy which generous acts afford, 

Prasildo seiz'd his beamy lance and sword : 

*» In the original Iroldo's courtesy is stronger than Prasildo's, and he 
goes off in search of adventures, rather than deprive Prasildo of Tisbina, 
who on her recovery acquiesces in the new arrangement. I always 
thought this a very German catastrophe, as well as involving the gross 
absurdity of dispatching a knight errant on his journey under the cer- 
tainty of being overtaken with sleep in an hour or two. The turn which 
I have given to the story was suggested to me, among other valuable 
remarks, by a Lady equally eminent for her high quality and her 


From clime to clime he sought advent'rous war, 
Led by the sound of danger from afar, 
And skilPd in arms, a wide protection flung 
O'er all who fear'd and all who sufFer'd wrong. 




Oun sires, a gentle race, in times of old c 
Of various feats in native measures told: 

c The Franklein's Tale is, like the foregoing, an illustration of the 
quality of courtesy. I was induced to modernise it by the Lady to whose 
genius I have above expressed my obligations ; and I publish my version 
in order to shew how the same idea was treated by poets of different 
countries and different aeras. Chaucer died A. D. 1400, and Berni died 
A.D. 1543. Boccacio, who died A.D. 1372, tells a story very similar 
to this of Chaucer in the 5 Nov. 1 Gior. of the Decamerone. The word 
Franklein means a country gentleman : how different that character was 
in the time of Chaucer from what it is now, will appear from the sub- 
joined account which Chaucer gives of the person whom he makes the 
Telator of this tale. 

The Franklein of a cheerful hue appear'd; 
And white, as is a daisy, was his beard. 
A sop he relish'd, steep'd in generous wine, 
To brace his stomach ere 'twas time to dine j 
And spent his life in one continued feast : 
For he was Epicurus' son confest, 
Who taught that pleasure is the scope and end 
To which his thoughts a man of sense will bend. 


These often they rehears'd on solemn days 
Or t^ their sounding harps attun'd the lays. 
Full many hate I heard ; and one my mind 
Remembers, for my task this night assign 'd. 

But, Sirs, it fits that I should first beseech 
Your pardon for my rude and uncouth speech : 
My state is humble ; and it ill beseems 
Unlearned tongues to dwell on lofty themes. 

A noble house he had and large domain 5 
At home he was a new St. Julian : 
His ale might nor be smaller in the least, 
Or bread less white ; but always of the best. 
Without bak'd meats his larder ne'er was known, 
And fish and flesh, in such profusion, 
That in that house it snow'd good meat and drink 
And all nice things of which a man can think. 
Ev'n as throughout the year the seasons change 
Did he his diet to the month arrange ; 
Full many a partridge had he in his mew, 
And many a Bream and many a Luce in stew. 
Woe was his Cook if aught amiss were done ; 
His sauce too sharp, or his roast meat too brown ; 
And always in his hall the cloth was laid ; 
Betwixt the meals with savory pasties spread. 

At Quarter Sessions he was King and Priest ; 
And, though from public duties now releas'd, 
High Sheriff he had been, and often sent 
Knight of the Shire to serve in Parliament. 
A hanger and a pouch of woven silk 
Hung at his girdle, white as morning's milk ; 
And search the country round, you might not see 
A gentleman of more esteem than he. 

Perhaps the Luce is the Pike, of which the name among the early 
writers was Lucius, 


Ne'er sat I musing on the Delphian Hill, 
Or dipp'd in classic lore from Tully's quill : 
No colours know I, but the painter's dyes, 
Or such as Nature's boon in spring supplies ; 
But ne'er on Rhetorick's colours did I pore, 
Quaint figure, trope, or hidden metaphor ; 
And ill would such my homely style avail, 
Then hear with candour, ye that hear the tale. 

In Brittany there liv'd a gallant youth 
Who serv'd the softer sex with knightly truth, 
And many a labour, many a peril shar'd, 
Ere for his love he won the due reward : 
For she to whom his constant vows were paid 
Among the lovely was the loveliest maid ; 
And seem'd so great in blood and rich in gold 
That ne'er the homage of his heart he told ; 
But still by lowly service sought to prove 
His steadfast faith, and win her to his love. 
Nor vainly did he sue ; the grateful dame 
Struck by his modest mien and martial fame, 
Disdain'd her sex's pride ; and pledg'd her word 
To take him for her only wedded lord, 
With such a power as Hymen's laws create 
To bless and not control the marriage state. 
He such soft rule disclaim'd, and freely swore 
To yield in all things to her sov'reign power; 
Constant and ever studious of her will 
As she were free and he a suitor still ; 


Retaining, but for pride of his degree, 

The name alone and shew of sovereignty. 

( Sir/ said the damsel, ' since your courteous mind 

' Free exercise of will for me design'd, 

* To you a just observance will I pay, 

c And like an humble handmaid still obey. 

e Sir, I will be your true and lowly wife ; 

( Have here my troth, unchanging but with life.' 

Gentles, who hear the tale, learn this from me, 
Love cannot bloom beneath authority. 
That union best endures where each receives 
A little grace, and each a little gives ; 
For Love, if either strive to rule alone, 
Extends his wings and farewell! he is gone. c 
Love is a thing as any spirit free, 
Lost by restraint and gain'd by liberty ; 
For Woman, meek and mild, is fond of sway ;> 
And Man, to say the truth, will have his way. 
He that is calm and patient in his love 
With most success his amorous suit will move; 

'• Mr. Pope's imitation, 

Spreads his light wings -and in a moment flies, 

however beautiful in the structure of the verse, is weaker than the original, 

Beateth his winges and farewell, he is gone — 

the active^tes not conveying the idea ©f the immediate effect of authority 
so forcibly as the passive, is gone. Perhaps this may seem too fine a criti- 
cism ; but it has induced me to preserve as much of Chaucer's line as 
was consistent with modern idiom. 


For Patience, if my author tell me true, 

Where rigor fails, can oft the will subdue ; 

Nor captious ought ye still to chide and frown 

At each untoward trifle said or done — 

Learn sufferance by degrees, while yet 3-e may ! 

A sharper lesson waits the coming day : 

For none is in this world of mortal frame 

Exempt in every deed and word from blame : 

Wine, Sorrow, Sickness with her languid hour, 

Anger and Spleen and planetary Power, 

Teem with harsh acts and tip with gall the tongue ; 

But hood-winked Prudence sees not every wrong ; 

Pause but awhile; the gathering flame will cool, 

And Reason wonder why she wish'd to rule. 

Arviragus for this in wisdom sware 
(However unask'd) his lady's rule to bear; 
And Dorigen refused the proffer'd sway 
(Not less discreet) and promis'd to obey: 
So was this wise accordance 'twixt them made, 
That eaeh had power, and each a service paid ; 
He was by wedlock lord, by love a slave ; 
She duty giv'n by love, to wedlock gave : 
And thus with joyful heart and proud array 
Home to the knight's domain they sped their way. 

Ye, that in Hymen's gentle train have lov'd, 
And ye alone can guess the bliss they prov'd. 
Long time unknown to grief they pass'd their lives 
Lapt in the tranquil joys that wedlock gives, 


When Rumour told that mighty deeds were done 
In England's realm, and deathless glory won 
In tilts at court, in war's embattled pride, 
And single perils in the forest wide. 
Then felt the Knight again his ardor rise, 
And martial trophies swam before his eyes ; 
He seiz'd his lance, and forth in arms he rode, 
And two long years in England's court abode. 

But Dorigen, meantime to grief a prey, 
Her absent lord lamented night and day. 
No sport could sooth, no cares her mind employ; 
Arviragus was gone, and all her joy; 
The pleasures of the world she set at nought, 
And to this theme alone confin'd her thought; 
For noble souls, when once to love resign'd, 
Doat with more passion than the vulgar mind. 
Her friends around their lenient arts applied, 
And every topic of consolement tried ; 
And urg'd that tears could ne'er their cause remove, 
And sighs were fruitless to restore her love. 

Marble, if long essay'd, at last will feel 
The slow impression of the sculptor's steel ; 
And Dorigen, long deaf to every prayer, 
In time confess'd her lov'd companion's care. 
But joy more lively touch' d the anxious dame 
When missives from her lord from England came : 
For he whose thoughts on her, though distant, roll'4, 
Of all that had befallen by letters told, 


And promised quick return ; she ceas'd to fear, 
And from her eyelids wip'd the trembling tear. 
But when new smiles now crept upon her cheek, 
Her friends of other solace dar'd to speak, 
And begg'd her from her palace to retire, 
As wonted objects wonted thoughts inspire ; 
Nor did she long their urgent suit disdain, 
But to the country went with all her train. 
Her seat was on the margin of the sea ; 
There would she walk, from all observance free, 
Well pleas'd to view the numerous barks that ploug 
Each as her voyage lay, the restless flood. 
But still a melancholy thought would rise ; 
( Is there no sail of all that meet my eyes; 
' Not one ' (within herself the dame would say) 
' That wafts my lord upon his homeward way? 
e Ah ! were it so, no more my soul would taste 
f Of doubt, and feel no more its anguish past.' 
And oft as from on high the rocks she spied, 
The griesly border of the tumbling tide, 
Fear o'er her limbs would shed its chilly dews, 
And her frail joints their offices refuse. 
Then, resting on the turf, she would survey 
The barrier cliffs, and thus in sadness say : 
( Eternal God ! whose all-providing mind 
' Rules the vast world by certain laws confiVd, 
< Who nought in heav'n, on earth, or in the flood, 
' Hast calFd t;o being, but for general good, 


* Who above all thy works hast Man remov'd 
c And stamp'd thine image on this best belov'd ; 
c Why wouldst thou this harmonious world deface 
' With rocks, destructive to thy favor'd race ? 
' Rocks, that to Chaos might their birth have ow'd, 

< And not to thee, the wise, all-giving God ! 

' For these, where'er they stretch their hateful chain, 
' Nor bird, nor beast, nor sov'reign Man sustain; 
' The common curse of all ! in times of yore 
' What crowds have perish'd on the rugged shore ! 

< And, ah ! perchance in tempests yet to come 

' Chiefs on this dreadful coast may meet their doom. 

c That all is for the best, let clerks maintain: 
' Dark points like this ill suit my barren brain — 
' The cause and end of things let scholars know; 
' But He that bids the wintry whirlwind blow 
' Keep my lov'd lord ! and in the abyss beneath 
f Whelm yon black rocks, yon fearful beds of death.' 

Thus would she pray, and little comfort drew 
From pastimes, if the coast appear'd in view. 
But still assiduous to relieve her grief, 
From other scenes her friends essay'd relief; 
Where'er the fringed fountain deck'd the plain 
Or limpid rill ran murmuring to the main ; 
Where'er the face of Nature laugh'd around, 
The dance they maishall'd and the banquet crown'd. 

For this, one morning ere Hyperion rose, 
A garden rich in flowers and groves they chose ; 


(What time prolific May with kindly showers 
Cloth'd in her freshest green the scented howers) 
And music,, viands, wines and fruits conveyed, 
For various pastime in the sheltering glade ; 
There lavish Art her charms to Nature join'd ; 
So many scarce in Eden were combin'd ; 
So sweet the perfume, such the flow'rets hue, 
That every heart was lighten'd at the view. 

Now all the dames, the sprightly banquet done, 
Rush'd to the dance, save Dorigen alone. 
What pleasure could the dance to her afford ? 
Numbers she saw, but still she miss'd her lord; 
Pensive she mus'd on him, and sate apart, 
And imag'd his return; and comfort warned her heart. 

Among the rest who in this revel shar'd, 
A youth, below a knight's degree, appear'd : 
Ere nipt by hopeless love, this youth had been 
The brightest blossom of each rural scene; 
Handsome and strong and gorgeous in array, 
And fresher than the jolly month of May; 
Had sung and danc'd, and sung and danc'd so well 
That on the green he e'er had born the bell : 
And there withal he had a gentle mind, 
To wisdom and to virtuous ways inclin'd. 

But poor Aurelius two revolving years 
Had bow r d beneath a load of secret cares : 
For Dorigen he sigh'd, to her unknown ; 
The bitterness of love he felt alone; 


Nor ever of his inly pangs would speak, 

Save by the fading roses on his cheek, 

And lays, that others pain might seem to move, 

Plaints of neglected vows and elegies of love. 

He durst not urge his wish, but droop'd and sigh'd, 

Pale as the ghost of one that hopeless died, 

And pin'd, like her th' Arcadian youth disdain'd, 

Who wasted till her voice alone remain'd. 

No further in his suit he durst advance ; 

Save too that sometimes in the festive dance 

(When gestures oft betray what secret lies 

And love gives language to the tell-tale eyes) 

A glance escap'd, by caution ill-control'd, 

That all his grief, and all his wishes told ; 

A glance, as of a man that sues for grace, 

Half rais'd, and scarcely fixt upon her face ; 

But she of all his love suspected nought, 

Nor guess'd that she was ever in his thought, 

And neither shunn'd his company nor sought. 

Yet so it chanc'd that ere the sports were done, 
In converse, undesigned, they sat alone. 
e Lady, I would to God,' Aurelius said, 
c When first your Lord to distant regions sped, 
6 Me too my stars had doom'd so far to roam 
c That life had been too short to bring me home. 
( Well know I that my service is in vain ; 
' A broken heart is all the prize I gain — 


' Oh, pity me ! one tender word might save, 
c One frown remorseless doom me to the grave. 
( No more — the gay assembly hither bends. 
' Think on thy mercy this poor life depends/ 
' Is this/ the dame replied, ( your bold intent? 
' I guess'd not what your meek observance meant : 
( But by that Power I swear who gave me life, 

* I ever will be found a faithful wife, 
e Nor err in wish or thought, or deed or word — 
c True to my vows and constant to my lord/ 
Thus spoke the dame the purpose of her breast ; 
But added in ill time this scornful jest; 
' Stay yet — one mighty work if you atchieve, 
' This love, so much desir'd, j r ou shall receive 
6 That day when every rock that lines the shore 
1 Shall sink in Ocean by your sov'reign power; 
( When stone by stone this barrier you remove, 

* That the light skiff with fearless sail shall rove, 
r That day I swear to give you all my love/ 
' Have you no other grace?" the youth replied. 

' None,' said the dame ; ' this wonder must be tried : 
( To urge with lawless love another's wife 
6 111 suits the sober tenor of thy life : 

* Cease then th' unhallow'd object to pursue; 

* Nought but this wonder can my faith subdue.' 

But now the tribe that revel'd on the green 
Or stray'd the coppicM walks and bowers within, 



Press'd round the dame ; the pipe was heard again. 

The dance renew'd, the song, the feast began ; 

And scarce I ween the rural sport was done 

Till deeper crimson ting'd the setting sun, 

And Earth, revolving from the western sky. 

Hid his resplendent beams from Europe's eye. 

Then to the town, though late, the joyous crew 

Pleas'd with the pastimes of the day, withdrew, 

All, save Aurelius : wrapt in silent thought 

He, unobserved, his lonely mansion sought* 

Scarce his chill blood crept in each flaccid vein, 

And sorrow almost craz'd his sounder brain ; 

He rais'd his hands to Heaven and would have pray'd, 

But Hope gives birth to prayer, and Hope was fled. 

At length by grief at once and love opprest, 

Phoebus, his patron God, he thus addrest. 

' Phoebus ! oh, master of the various train 

( Herb, flower and tree, that grace the verdant plain; 

' Whose beam, attemper'd as thy orb declines 

< Through the just order of the sacred signs, 

' Gives life to each, their torpid fibres warms 

( And wakes the long succession of their charms ; 

' Oh Phoebus ! cast on me thy pitying eye, 

' Doom'd by the virtuous Dorigen to die. 

' These tears from no offence but love arise — 

c To mercy give^ what she to loves denies ! 

* Save, for thou canst; thy powerful aid can give 

' A balm for slighted love, and bid me live — 



e Oh ! call thy Sister Queen ! whose influence guides 
c With undiscover'd force the raging tides, 
' Old Ocean's empress; whom the Nereids own 

* And Neptune fears upon his pearly throne : 
e For, as her measur'd march is rul'd by thee, 
' That march directs the subjugated sea ; 

c And as her orb its varying phases shews, 
' Obsequious Ocean ebbs, obsequious flows. 
' Thou, when in Leo next thy fervid ray 
' Gives her full sphere its lustre to display, 

* Then stop her course ! her monthly change forego, 
c Nor check her influence on the tides below ; 

e That undiminished from their inmost caves 
' Her power may summon the tumultuous wave;? 
c Upward to press, in wide confusion hurl'd 
c Beyond the level of the watery world, 

* And far beneath their foaming surface whelm 

f Each rugged rock that girds th' Armoric realm. 
' Then stop her course — till to the dame I say, 
c u Lo ! at the voice of Love, the rocks give way/' 
e Oh ! till thou twice renew th' expecting year 
< Shine with full radiance on her silver sphere ; 
' Or woo this kindred power, whose triple sway 
' Rules the dark realms impervious to the day, 
( To sink these rocks to her infernal reign, 
( Far from the searching eye of Dorigen. 

* Oh ! look upon the tears that scald my cheek, 
' And grant, in mercy grant, the aid 1 seek ; 


€ So may I with my grateful offerings roam 
* A barefoot pilgrim to the Delphian dome/ 

He ceas'd ; a cloud of grief his mind o'ercast 5 
He sunk, and sinking seem'd to breathe his last ; 
But watchful of his woe, his brother caught 
The fainting youth and to his chamber brought; 
There in despair let poor Aurelius lie, 
His balance equal pois'd, to live or die. 

Meantime, in bloom of health and high in fame, 
Arviragus from noble England came— 
What need I tell the bliss of Dorigen 
To clasp her long-regretted Lord again? 
He too, unconscious, revel'd in her arms, 
Nor dreamt of any rival to her charms ; 
But careless took his fill of all delight ; 
By day the tourney and the dance by night, 

Thus liv'd for many a month this blissful pair, 
While sad Aurelius, sunk with amorous care, 
Nor, left his bed of sickness, weak and wan ; 
Nor listen'd to the cheering voice of man ; 
Nor felt the breath of Heav'n, delightful blow ; 
Nor saw the Sun, that gladdens all below. 
His unpropitious Love and dark despair 
He scarcely trusted to a brother's ear ; 
And brooding still in silence on his woes, 
Ne'er felt the comfort that from pity flows. 
Without, his breast betray'd no bruise or scar ; 
The wound was all within, and rankled there : 


And surgeons think that sore will dang'rous prove,, 
Which festering at the bottom, heals above. 

His brother, who at Orleans long had staid, 
And books that dealt in every science read, 
Still curious, high and low, of every lore 
Somewhat for use or pastime to explore ; 
Now pondering on Aurelius' wretched state, 
And musing how his grief to mitigate, 
Bethought him that at Orleans once he saw 
A book that spoke of natural magic's law. 
This on his fellow's desk by chance he spied 
(A graduate in the laws, and learn'd beside,) 
And read what crafty subtilties were done 
By the twice fourteen mansions of the Moon, 
And all the sleights, that in those days were priz'd, 
Though by our better wisdom now despis'd ; 
For rules of holy Church our faith maintain/ 
And quaint illusions tempt our thoughts in vain. 
Recalling to his mind this wond'rous book 
Joy sprung within his breast, and thus he spoke — 
( The cure is in our hands ; he shall not die : 
' Magic its powerful influence shall supply ; 
e For sure there is a subtle craft or sleight 
* That blinds the judgment or deceives the sight, 
( Such as our jugglers use, who entertain, 
' In taverns and at wakes, the vulgar train ; 
e And make a stream along the chamber flow, 
< With various vessels moving to and fro : 


* A lion on the pale spectators glare ; 

A tower embattled frown upon the war; 

* Or flowers with ev'ry tint of beauty bloom, 

e Or vines with purple clusters deck the room. 
' What then remains ? To Orleans must I speed, 

* To search for one in natural magic read, 

' To whom the aspects of the stars are known, 

* And all the mansions of the changeful Moon : 
e Through such a man Aurelius yet may win 

( (Spite of her terms propos'd) this haughty queen ; 
f He with such potent spells may taint the air 

* That not one rock shall on the shores appear, 

* Nor cliff above or craggy shelf below 

* Turn from the level shore the fearless prow : 

* Till Dorigen the promis'd boon afford, 

g Or break — she dare not break — her plighted word.' 

But forward with the tale ; at once he went 
And told the bedrid lover his intent; 
At once the scheme Aurelius understood, 
And hope again through all his bosom glow'd ; 
In preparation little time they spent, 
But eagerly their course to Orleans bent. 

When now within some furlongs of the gate 
They spied a clerk, who by the pathway sate : 
He stay'd them as in haste they past along, 
And fair bespoke them in the Latin tongue ; 
And (judge ye how the gaping brothers star'd) 
Told them what men they were, and whence they far'd. 


And wherefore to that learned place they came, 
And all the courtship of the Breton dame. 
c Now/ said Aurelius, f I shall sure succeed ; 
e This man is just the scholar that I need/ 
Th' acquaintance soon was made; the scholar knew 
All that the love-sick traveller had in view ; 
And he, convinc'd by what the clerk had said, 
No farther sought, or look'd for other aid. 
Dismounting, they embrac'd ; with courtly air 
He led them to his house, and welcom'd there 
With smiles and soft repose and comfortable fare. 
But ere the feast was serv'd, their host beguii'd 
Their eyes with magic shapes and visions wild. 
Upon the wall appear'd a forest drear 
Peopled with herds of many-colour'd deer ; 
The buck, the roe, the stag with antlers high. 
That toss'd his head and seem'd to scorn to fly : 
The chace began ; the huntsman's winged wound 
Here prostrate laid his pride, and here the hound : 
Anon this pageant from the wall was clear'd, 
And the gay sports of falconry appear'd ; 
The river fill'd with boats, the busy train, 
The hawks flown upward and the heron slain ; 
Then Chivalry with all its pomp was seen, 
And well appointed knights that justed on the green. 
Then came the dance ; the figures seem'd to live ; 
That you could hear the music you'd believe ; 


And Dorigen appear'd to trip along 

Led by Aurelius' self amid the throng : 

But when the Master, who this wonder wrought, 

Now saw the vision to perfection brought, 

Ere yet they fancied half the pageant done 

He clapt his hands, and all at once was gone. 

This feat no craft or art mechanic play'd ; 

Magic, and magic only, lent him aid. 

The whole within his library was done ; 

And with him, save the stranger youths, were none. 

The supper o'er, to bargain they began, 
What meed should recompense this learned man 
Could he remove from sight the rocky chain 
That girds th' Armoric province to the Seine. 
His terms the crafty scholar still advanc'd, 
The difficulty, toil, expence enhanc'd, 
And rais'd the value of his art so high, 
That nought but brain-sick passion could comply. 
' Ask ye so little, Sir ?' Aurelius said ; 
( By such a gift your skill were ill repaid ; 
' He that could make your meed this earthly sphere, 
* For skill so great would scarcely pay too dear. 
' Have here my hand— the bargain this secures ; 
( Atchieve the point and what you ask is yours — 
e But look you sleep not ; no neglect or sloth — ' 
e Tis done/ the Clerk replied; ' I pledge my troth/ 

Now free from care Aurelius sought his bed, 
And slumber'd without opium in his head : 


His limbs the journey's toil to rest inclin'd, 

And hope of bliss approaching lulPd his mind ; 

But anxious still he rose before the day 

And wak'd his friends and urg'd them on their way, 

Nor dallied in the journey, till they came 

Where dwelt Aurelius and the Breton dame. 

The Winter was in prime ; the Sun, grown old, 
Had chang'd to duller brass his orb of gold, 
Nor rush'd impatient from the Indian flood 
While yet the western sky with purple glow'd. 
But frost and bitter sleet deform'd the year ; 
The plains were brown, the forest stark and bare; 
Then sat old Janus with his double beard 
By the clear fire and still the embers stirr'd, 
And carv'd the red brawn of the tusky swine, 
And crown'd his bugle horn with foaming wine : 
Sport and good cheer was found in every hall, 
And many a merry Christmas wish'd by all. 

Be sure Aurelius spar'd no care or cost 
For him who should restore his comfort lost : 
And still he pray'd him to begin his course 
Of magic rites, for still his pains grew worse ; 
And often in his mood, he would unsheath 
His sword, and seek to end his woes in death. 

Such anguish with regret the Scholar fill'd ; 
And much he wish'd tli' expected cure to yield ; 
And watch'd a favoring time, for magic power. 
To spread such strange illusion o'er the shore 


That all who look'd might think the rocks destroyed 

Or many a fathom sunk beneath the tide. 

At last the hour arriv'd ; his spells he brought, 

And instruments and schemes with falsehood fraught. 

And tables, fram'd to shew when every star 

Would in each mansion of its march appear 

Corrected by himself: he nought forgot; 

Collects and prayers, the square and cubic root, 

And algebra, to find equations due ; 

All that his process wanted well he knew. 

By his eight spheres in calculation 

He plainly found how far Alnath was gone 

From the Ram's Head, which in the ninth is plac'd ; 

And this he in a subtle figure cast ; 

And when the first house by the scheme appear'd, 

The remnant by proportion was inferr'd ; 

And when the Moon would rise, and what her phase, 

And all that magic taught in heathen days ; 

Nor paus'd he, till his charm so powerful grew, 

That the rocks seem'd to vanish from the view. 

Meantime the youth, who knew his woe or weal 
Hung on the working of this wond'rous spell, 
Nor slept, nor mov'd, but watch'd both day and night 
Till one by one the rocks deceiv'd his sight. 
Then at the Scholar's feet his thanks he pour'd, 
And Venus, blissful queen, with vows ador'd, 
And instant to the Temple took his way 
Where lovely Dorigen was us'd to pray; 


And when he saw his time, with flutt'ring "breast 
And humble mien, this suppliant speech addressed. 

' Oh, Lady ! whose displeasure most I fear, 
e Whose charms I love, whose virtues I revere, 
' Think not my anguish e'er should utterance find 
' To wound the blest repose of such a mind, 

* But that despair at last rejects the rein 

e And tells me I must perish or complain. 

' My life perhaps you may not wish to save ; 

' But think upon the promise once you gave : 

' Each god that views us from the realms above 

< Feels that you punish no offence but love ; 

' The troth each god remembers pledg'd by you ;— 

' Not that I claim your pity as my due ; 

' But at a rural feast — 'tis long ago — 

' Full well the purport of your oath you know ; 

' You vow'd (to witness every Power I call), 

* Mean as I am, to love me best of all : 

f 'Tis for your honor, Lady, that I speak ; 

€ No remedy for sorrow do I seek : 

e But what you then exacted, I have done — 

* Now 'tis your turn to act; the rocks are gone.' 

He ceas'd, and left her ; she astonish'd stood ; 
There was not in her face one drop of blood. 
r Alas !' she said, ' How little I foresaw 
' This chance, so strange, so passing Nature's law ; 

* Who that has sense or knowledge could believe 
( That mortal skill could such a deed atchieve V 


And home she hied her in such deep dismay 
That scarce her limhs could bear her on the way, • 
And sigh'6 and wept, but told the cause to none, 
For from his house it chanc'd her lord was gone ; 
And pondering on her fate, to death inclin'd, 
Revolv'd the deeds of old and question'd thus her mind, 

c Oh, Fortune ! 'tis of thee that I complain ; 
< Thou that hast wrapp'd me in thy cruel chain; 
f A chain, from which to scape no chance is left 
' Save or of honour or of life bereft. 

* Why do I name the dire alternative? 

' Oh ! conscious of dishonor, can I live, 

e And feel (howe'er conceal'd from busy fame) 

' That I have purchas'd life by secret shame? 

* No ; Death, and Death alone, can set me free ; 

* His ghastly visage wears a smile to me. 

* Of old 'twas common for the sex to save 
' Their honor, in a voluntary grave. 
' When Phidon, by the Athenian lords oppressed, 

* Was slain, inhuman ! at the genial feast, 

* And his fair daughters, ere the blood was dry, 
c (Expos'd uncover'd to each gloting eye) 

* Were led their horrid lust to satisfy, 
1 They, when the tyrants thought their prey secure, 

* Leapt to a deep draw-well and perish'd pure. 
' So when Messene for her warrior's arms 
' Chose fifty from the flower of Spartan charms, 



4 Not one of all the fifty would survive 

* So foul an outrage, or polluted live. 

e So too, when fierce Aristoclides strove 
k ' To force Simphalidessa to his love ; 

* Beset her palace and her father kill'd, 

f And urg'd with fearful threats the dame to yield, 

' Unseen of all to Dian's fane she past, 

' And the cold image with her arms embrac'd 

* As close as if together they had grown 

' That force was vain to tear her from the stone ; 

' Till the fell king, defrauded of his prey, 

' Lopt, as she clung, her beauteous limbs away. 

' If maidens thus have died, how light should life 
6 Weigh 'gainst dishonor in a noble wife? 
' She, who would not endure the stain alone, 
' But guards her husband's honor in her own, 
e Thus the bold wife of Punic Hasdrubal, 

* When in his country's cause she saw him fall, 
' When Afric fled before all-conqu'ring Rome 

* And haughty Carthage nodded to her doom, 

c Snatch'd her pale babes, her brows with chaplets 

\ And leapt into the flames that rag'd around. 
' Lucretia too, the Roman pride, disdain'd 

* To lead a loathsome life, by Tarquin stain 'd. 
s In Melesie, the savage Gaul enslav'd 

6 Eight virgins, who by death their honor sav'd. 


* When Abradas was slain, his faithful wife 

* Pour'd in his veins the current of her life ; 
' And smiling in her utmost agony 

* She welcomed death, from foul dishonor free. 

' But why should I such strong examples cite t 
< Of many thousands more historians write 

* Whose virtue more than death pollution fear'd 
' And self-destruction of the two preferr'd. 
' Then wherefore am I doubtful ? never dame 
' Stood nearer to the slippery verge of shame. 
' Oh ! let me fall, Demotius, like thy child 
e Lamented in my fate and undefiTd. 

' Oh, Sedasus ! what wretch unmov'd can read 
' How in their honor's cause thy daughters bled I 

* Or how Nicanor, Macedonia's lord, 
e Fierce in his lust the Theban maid defiowVd, 
' And she by such a deed her fame restor'd? 

' Why should I speak of Nicerates' wife, d 
€ Who gladly for her fame exchang'd her life ? 
' Or of that Grecian dame, who chose to die 
e Lest unentomb'd her slaughtered lord should lie? 

* Why of Alcestis or Penelope, 

c Renown'd in earliest times for chastity ? 

<* The bad taste of Chaucer in this uninteresting speech is kept in 
«ountenance by Petrarch ; that poet, in his Trionfi, not content with 
giving us a muster-roll of names like this passage in Chaucer, mingles 
characters from fabulous, sacred, and profane history, with no more re- 
morse or discrimination than Lingo in his assemblage of ' great old 
heroes—Homer, Moses, Hercules, and Wat Tyler.' 


* Why of Laodamia's constant soul ? 

e Of Artemise ? of Portia's burning coal ? 

* Of Theuta, whom no force or art could move? 
9 Of Rodogune's or Oaleria's love ? 

9 All, all the sacred flame of virtue breathe 
' And teach me to protect my fame by death/ 

Thus Dorigen her fate awhile deplor'd 
Till jocund to his home return'd her lord. 
But when he heard her sighs, and saw her tears, 
Love filPd his fancy with a thousand fears — 
9 Alas !' she said, ' that ever I was born ! 
' Hear what in fatal mockery I have sworn' — 
And told him what the love-sick youth had pray'd, 
And of th' unhappy compact she had made — 
9 All may be well/ the Knight with sighs replied, 
' Each must endure the sufferings that betide. 
4 " Your promise you must keep : sincerity 
( Stands first of human attributes with me : 
( And rather would I lose my best heart's blood 
' Than you should fail to make this compact good/ 
He said and wept; then starting— f Ne'er proclaim, 

* I charge you never tell our mutual shame ! 

? Let not your voice, your look, your eye betray 

9 The curst mischance of this detested day ; 

6 Let none have ev'n the slightest cause to guess, 

* Or babbling slander glance at our distress/ 
Then calling from within her 'squire and maid, 
He bad them on their way their Lady lead ; 


Submiss they bow'd; unconscious where she went 
And unsuspicious of her strange intent. 

But gay Aurelius in the public street 
By chance the melancholy fair one met, 
And greeting her with soft and amorous mien, 
€ Where goes/ he said, ' the lovely Dorigen V 
< Where goes she ?' said the dame with haggard air 
Like madness ripening from a deep despair, 
f You, Sir, she seeks, commanded by her lord, 
• To pay the monstrous forfeit of her word.' 
She said ; and standing fix'd upon the place, 
A storm of sorrow blacken'd all her face : 
Her lips not clos'd, she turn'd her streaming eye 
To heav'n, and clasp'd her hands in speechless agony. 

Amaz'd Aurelius stood ; his noble mind 
Could in such grief a moral lesson .find. 
Quick to his feeling breast each pang appear'd 
Her lord had suffered when the tale he heard ; 
And all the struggle of the princely pair 
Ere they so foul a stain could stoop to bear. 
Then what he once had deem'd a virtuous love, 
Pure, just, and pleasing to the gods above, 
Seem'd black and horrid in his alter'd eye, 
Like a base outrage on the nuptial tie. 
Far better then it seem'd to yield again 
A pleasure purchas'd by such cureless pain, 
And all his long-protracted hopes forego, 
Than dash their union with eternal woe. 


To Dorigen he said ; ( Lament no more : 

* Extinguished is the frenzy you deplore. 

* Return, and tell your lord, that since I see 
€ His honor and his high sincerity; 

' Since, when within my grasp this bliss I view, 
' I witness all the misery felt by you, 

* The anguish by my hateful passion wrought, 
' I yield a pleasure with such horrors bought; 
c Unmindful what regret my soul endures, 

' If I but cease to wound a love like yours. 

* Go then, untainted in the eye of Heav'n, 

' And spotless as before your promise giv'n. 

* But henceforth, warn'd by you, let dames beware 
' And think upon their compacts ere they swear; 

f And let the world be told, that courtesy 
' Dwells not alone in lords of high degree!' 

What fancy can conceive, what mortal tongue 
Describe the joy that in her bosom sprung? 
Her lowly thanks, her winged speed to chear 
Arviragus, and bid him cease to fear; 
His rapture, of the youth their mutual praise, 
The blissful tenor of their after daj^s, 
His unabating love, her constancy, 
Sweet though the theme, ye may not hear from me. 
My story must of sad Aurelius tell 
Still bound to give the meed he promis'd for the spell. 

c Alas ! unhappy youth !' Aurelius said, 
' The price of joys untasted must be paid: 


f How? where shall I procure so vast a sum? 

r Bare beggary at last must be my doom : 

' My lands I needs must sell and quit the place, 

< Lest my reduc'd estate my kin disgrace ; 

' And little recks this Clerk how I may grieve, 

( So he the stipulated price receive. 

( But I will try him yet ; a longer day 

* Perchance he may concede this sum to pay; 

* Perchance he may accept a part in hand, 

c A part next year ; nor all at once demand ; 
f But I must wait his pleasure, good or ill ; 
' His part is done, and I must mine fulfil.' 

He said ; and sighing, from a secret chest 
Took all the gold and treasure he possest: 
This to the chamber of the Clerk he brought, 
And for the rest some further time besought : 
And, '■ Sir,' quoth he, { I may full safely boast 
e My credit to this day I never lost; 
' The whole I owe you shall be justly paid 
' Though I from door to door should beg my bread ; 
1 But if in gentleness you now receive 
( Half your reward, and further respite give, 
' A year, or two ; my state might yet be well ; 
6 Else I my fathers heritage must sell.' 

Thus sadly spoke the youth ; the Clerk replied, 
' Say, with my promise have not I complied 
e And have not you your amorous wish enjoy' 


rk replied, "J 
Lied? V 

ajoy'd?' ) 


< Ah, no V Aurelius said ; and from his breasfe 
A sigh, deep drawn, his penitence exprest. 
' But why ? the Scholar said ; the rocks away, 
f What cause can now your forfeit bliss delay r' 
Then point by point the tale that I have told 
The }^outh began in order to unfold ; 
How Dorigen preferred the loss of life 
To the least error that might stain a wife ; 
And pledg'd her faith in pleasantly alone 
Nor dreamt the thing exacted could be done. 
How on his part Arviragus preferred 
The forfeit, to the failure of her word ; 
How he that forfeit had refus'd to take, 
Too generous to accept so dear a stake ; 
And how his virtue had return'd the dame, 
Pure from his love as from her lord she came. 

The Scholar said, ( Good brother, I confess 
c In both your acts an equal gentleness : 
( He is by rank a knight, and you a 'squire; 
' But God may in his mercy yet inspire, 
' Ev'n of a clerk like me, the humble breast, 
c The palm of courteous actions to contest. 
€ Sir, from the forfeit sum you are as free 
c As if you ne'er had dealt with spells or me : 
f I will not have one penny for my aid, 
p Nor for the toilsome journey I have made: 


f I in this courteous contest wish to bear 
' (Howe'er behind you both) a little share/ 

Which of these three display'd the noblest soul 
Resolve me, Lords; for you have heard the whole. 






JN ow from Alcina c safe, Astolfo past 
Alone, undaunted, through the pathless waste : 
O'er many a mountain, many a desert rude, 
Through many a forest he his way pursued ; 

c In the eastern parts of the earth Ariosto places the abode of Alcina 
and Logistilla, two sister enchantresses, of whom the latter was as much 
the patroness of true chivalry, as the former was the inciter of voluptuous- 
ness. Astolfo is supposed by Ariosto to have reaped the advantage of 
Logistilla's protection, after having been rescued from the enchantments of 
Alcina, and to have received from her two inestimable presents — a horn, 
at the sound of which all living things would be panic struck, and lose 
every thought but that of flight ; and a book, which was a key to all the 
enchantments that were, or ever had been, or ever would be. Logistilla 
desirous that Astolfo, who was son to the king of England, should not be 
molested by Alcina during his return to Europe, sent him by sea as far as 
the Persian Gulf; and the adventures which form the subject of this story 
begin at the period 'of his quitting Logistilla's vessel. 


And oft at eve and morn on every side 
Sights that might shake the firmest mind descried, 
Here outlaws lurk'd, to rush upon their prey ; 
Here pards and pois'nous dragons crost his way; 
But as they heard his horn's enchanted sound 
All felt the powerful spell,, and fled around. 
Onward he mov'd, and reach'd the Arabian vale, 
Where myrrh and incense tinge the passing gale : 
Where, from the spacious world, the Phoenix chose 
Th' ambrosial mansion of her late repose. 
Then bending to the west, the shore he trod 
Where the red waves obey'd th' avenging God, 
And, opening o'er the gulph while Israel crost, 
RolPd death and ruin on th' Egyptian host. 
Nor staid th' impatient youth, till on the soil 
Renown'd for deeds of arms, he paus'd from toil. 

Where smooth Trajano's flood with dimpled course 
Creeps to the Nile, he turn'd his matchless horse ; 
That horse, whose feet so lightly touch the plain, 
That sands no vestige of his track retain ; 
His rapid path no bending flow'ret shews, 
Or mark betrays him on the new-fall'n snows ; 
Far, far behind, the glancing bolt he leaves, 
And printless bounds along the dancing waves. 
This was that steed whom Argalia's care 
Nurs'd from his birth with elemental air; 
Sprung from a wond'rous union, wind and flame, 
Charm'd was his life, and Rabican his name. 


Still marching by the streamlets grassy verge 
At length he came to Nile's prolific surge; 
Where through the lazy flood, with laboring oar, 
A vessel urg'd her way and sought the shore. 
High on the prow a reverend hermit stood, 
And,, ' Oh P he cried, ' avoid that path of blood I 
c Oh, turn ! unless you loath the cheerful day, 
c And impious wish to throw your life away. 
r Haste to the further bank ! the path you tread 

* Full many a friendless wretch to death has led ; 

* For but a league from hence a pest there dwells 

' Endued with giant strength, and fortified with 

spells : 
€ Vast is his bulk : whoe'er shall there arrive, 
c Or knight or pilgrim, must not think to live ; 
e Some, in his cruel mood, alive he flays ; 
' Some, skill'd in tortures, at his leisure slays ; 
( While others, destin'd for the monster's food, 

< He swallows limb by limb or sucks their blood, 
c Strong as he is, yet more he still depends 

4 On toils, which all around his art extends: 

< O'er all the plain the subtle meshes lie 

' Hid in the sand from ev'n th' instructed eye. 
f What hope then ? or opprest you fall in fight, 

< Or meet the snares that intercept your flight: 
c And deem not, that your arms and noble air 

e (Howe'er a princely lineage they declare) 


r Can touch this fiend, of more than hellish kind, 

r Whom no remorse can reach, or holy customs bind. 

' Alike to him whate'er the booty be, 

c Or dame, or knight, of high or low degree, 

' With thirsty throat their blood the savage drains, 

c Devours the trembling flesh and sucks the brains. 

' The plain with scatter'd bones is white become, 

c And human scalps adorn each dismal room. 

( Oh, turn your erring step ! oh, turn, my son ! 

' Nor pay your forfeit life for vain renown — 

( So shall you hence your destin'd journey speed 

' And to the Christian camp unhurt proceed.' 

e Thanks, holy hermit, thanks,' Astolfo cried— 

1 But tales of misery are the warrior's guide. 

* Fruitless on me your kind instruction falls 5 
< I feel no terrors when my glory calls. 

' A safe departure has no charms for me, 
1 Eager alone this giant scourge to see : 
' 'Tis true my life is safe, if hence I fly ; 
' But honor bids to conquer or to die : 

* What if I go ? the worst in Fortune's store 
' Is to add one to many slain before ; 

c But if all-powerful Heav'n this arm should aid, 
' And stretch on yonder plain the monster dead, 
6 Not one, but thousands will the deed relieve, 

* And Egypt know what Christian knights atchieve/ 
Struck with his awful port, the hermit cried, 

' God and the host of Heav'n thy efforts guide ! 


f Exploits like thine celestial Saints defend 
( And their best blessings on thy steps attend/ 

Betwixt the margin of the sacred flood 
And a wide marsh, the wary warrior rode, 
Till in a secret nook he found the den, 
Remote from social haunts and intercourse of men* 
Dismember'd limbs and headless trunks around 
(Dire monuments of rage !) defil'd the ground ; 
Of trophied bones th' embattled roof was full, 
And in each loop-hole grinn'd a ghastly scull. 
Thus, when in narrow tower or straw-clad cell, 
Eager for game some Alpine hunters dwell, 
About their door the shaggy spoils are seen, 
The snout, the crooked claws, or reeking skin: 
Such honors by the bloody Fiend were shewn 
To knights of stature large and strength of bone ; 
The rest were scatter'd o'er the dismal plain, 
Bleach'd with the Summer's sun and Winter's rain* 

In front of the dread place, beneath the gate, 
Expecting prey, Caligorante sate ; 
For such his name, who gold and ivory scorn'd, 
And his detested walls with human spoils adorn'd. 
But when within his view Astolfo rode, 
O'er his grim brow the flush of pleasure glow'd ; 
For thrice the changeful planet now had wan'd 
Since blood of man his horrid fangs had stain'd. 
Experienc'd in the game, he slunk away 
Where thick with lofty reeds the marshes lay, 


Circling with compass wide, t' inclose the Knight* 
Then rush behind him and with shouts affright, 
That hurrying to escape, within the net 
Th' unguarded warrior might involve his feet. 

But when his crafty scheme Astolfo guess'd, 
Cautious, his coursers speed the rein represt, 
Lest, by that pious hermit warn'd in vain, 
His erring feet might touch the subtle chain. 
He paus'd; and to his lip the bugle rais'd — 
Chill fear and horror rode in every blast : 
No living thing there was, whose nerve could bear 
The shock of that enchanted sound to hear : 
Pride, Wisdom, Rage, in vain his breast might steel. 
Or firm Resolve, whoe'er that blast should feel ; 
Not half so loud ethereal thunder rolls, 
Or earthquakes roar, that shake the solid poles; 
And wheresoe'er it reach'd the lion fled, 
And Jove's own eagle felt unusual dread. 

Now briskly through that horn Astolfo blew : 
To Logistilla's word that horn was true. 
Not he, the Giant, could the spell defy ; 
He stopp'd, he trembled, and he turn'd to fly: 
Again the sound was heard — aghast he flew 
Heedless, nor whither went his footsteps knew ; 
O'er the whole man the magic tremor wrought, 
Nor heart nor eye remain'd, nor ear nor thought: 
Straight forward from the thrilling sound he sprung. 
And rush'd into the toils himself had hung. 


Astolfo now with ready sword preparM 
For countless murders done the due reward ; 
Till casting down his eyes in pensive mood 
(Vast as the monster stretch'd o'er many a rood) 
Nor fame nor nightly credit seem'd to rise, 
Chain'd as he was, from such a sacrifice : 
And sparing that base life, his generous mind 
To lead the vassal fiend in bonds design'd. 

Straight from the vast expanse, one slender chain 
The warrior chose, to drag him o'er the plain ; 
Across his back his sinewy arms he bound, 
Then roll'd the net away and rais'd him from the 

This net which now its felon lord had caught, 
By Vulcan in the times of yore was wrought: 
The fabric was of steel ; so subtly made 
That every mesh might the keen sight evade, 
But strong that nought could break the slightest 

Suspicion gave it birth ; the watchful spouse 
Of wanton Venus fram'd the penal noose, 
Th' adult'rous pair by public scorn to tame, 
And to the laughing gods expose their shame. 
This wond'rous net, so fram'd by skill divine, 
Did Hermes from the Lemnian god purloin; 
Fir'd with the charms of Chloris, heavenly fair-*- 
Chloris, the loveliest nymph that floats in air ; 



And, as she skims along, delights to fling 

O'er the glad earth the odorous gems of Spring., 

What time the glittering morn begins her march 

To lead the Sun o'er heaven's diurnal arch. 

Her, in her airy circuit, Maia's son 

With this Vulcanian snare, reluctant, won ; 

From star to star the sightless toils he flung, 

And on the struggling nymph exulting sprung : 

Then plae'd the net where, by the gulphy main, 

Egyptian hands have rak'd Anubis' fane ; 

And thence, where many an age rever'd it lay, 

Caligorante seiz'd the sacred prey, 

And ravaged all the place, and bore the prize away. 

Now when the length of net in many a fold 
(Bright paragon of works in steel) was roll'd, 
On his gigantic slave the wond'rous load 
He pois'd, and forward on his journey rode ; 
And thus from clime to clime his foe decreed 
In pomp triumphal o'er the world to lead. 

Where'er they pass'd the crowd around them came 
And hail'd the gallant shew with loud acclaim; 
The shew that promis'd peace to all the land, 
And freed from spoil and blood the pilgrim band. 
Northward he pass'd and reach'd the Theban fanes, 
And the proud structures of the Memphian plains. 
And Cairo's endless walls, that scarce contain 
Th' unnumber'd myriads of her subject train. 


Mere all the novel sight admiring view'd, 
The conqueror and th' enormous foe subdu'd: 
And while th' impatient chief at Cairo staid 
Due honors to his matchless valor paid. 

But he, who slighted rest, whose only joy 
Was force to foil and evil to destroy, 
Now burnt to visit Damiata's plain, 
On the bare shores of the Carpathian main ; 
For Fame had told a Knight of giant power 
Dwelt in those confines in an iron tower, 
Whose cruel rage the neighbouring realms dismay'd, 
And spoil and carnage ev'n to Cairo spread. 
Fame too had told that blows and mortal strife 
In vain might seek this warrior's charmed life: 
Cut, pierc'd, or maim'd by any trenchant blade, 
Clove to the waist, or sever'd by the head, 
Some powerful spell would every scar efface, 
Heal the wide gashes, or the head replace. 

Struck with the tale, and anxious to control 
The charm that still restraint Orillo's soul, 
Astolfo to the fortress press'd his way, 
Taught by the track of havock where it lay. 
In a wide waste (for such that fertile field 
His deeds had made) this fearful robber dwelPd, 
Whom by a Ghost compress'd a Sorceress bore, 
And fenc'd with charms in planetary hour : 
There, at that time, a furious combat rag'd ; 
Orillo, with two gallant knights engaged ; 


Alone he stood ; but such his giant might 

That scarce those gallant knights maintain'd the fight ; 

Though both were brave and strong, and both might 

No humble rank upon the rolls of Fame ; 
Though both Ulivieri's blood might vaunt; 
Grifon the white and sable Aquilant. 
At once the warriors aim'd the deadly blow 
And pierc'd at once the spell-defended foe : 
This lopp'd a brawny leg and that a hand, 
And mangled members strew'd th' empurpled sand ; 
Through his broad chest the sword of Grifon drove ; 
And Aquilant helm, scull and body clove — 
Superfluous wounds ! unhurt Orillo smil'd, 
While still the secret charm their hopes beguil'd : 
Where'er the wound, reknit by power divine 
The bones at once would meet, the fibres join: 
And limbs dismember'd, to the stumps applied 
Like wax would close, and all the blows deride. 
Thus, pour'd from high, the subtle metal breaks, 
And various paths in slippery globules takes ; 
Till one by one they meet at last again, 
Nor vestige of their sever 'd state retain. 
Nor more avaiPd it, if the hostile blade 
Struck from his spouting neck Orillo's head ; 
Instant he stretch'd his length of arms around, 
And, animated yet, his visage found ; 


Then on the spine replac'd the welcome weight, 
And with fresh force renew'd the stern debate. 
Now in the stream the. sever'd head they threw ; 
Quick to the stream the headless members flew, 
And diving for the prize, entire return'd, 
Rush'd to the fight, and with new fary burn'd. 

Two dames of stately mien and features fail- 
Beheld the chances of this wond'rous war ; 
Benignant Fays they were, whose fost'ring pow'rs 
Had nurs'd the heroes in their infant hours, 
What time Gismonda bore, her lord away, 
The lovely twins in an ill-omen'd day : 
Them with rapacious claws a griffin tore 
From her fond arms and from their native shore, 
Till these, the Fays, the savage bird compell'd 
The babes uninjur'd to their care to yield, 
And train'd them in the path of virtuous worth 
And glory, conscious of their royal birth. 
Here on the desert shore their caution staid 
The chiefs, prepar'd insulted Charles to aid: 
Yet, yet awhile to ward their glorious doom ; 
To fall predestin'd in the wars of Rome. 

Now Phoebus from that clime his orb withdrew 
And ting'd the western world with saffron hue : 
Dark and more dark the shade of evening spread, 
And Cynthia scarcely deign'd her dubious aid. 
The gentle dames till morn's returning ray 
J3ad cease the dreadful business of the fray ; 


Orillo to his iron hold retir'd, 

And all with eager hope the dawn desir'd. 

Astolfo, in armorial honors skill'd, 
Each knight distinguish'd by his blazon'd shield ; 
Nor less their manly port and forms he knew ; 
And now to greet the warriors near them drew. 
They too, who freed from toil, with joy beheld 
The silver leopards on Astolfo's shield, 
With reverence due receiv'd the chiefs regard, 
And hail'd Britannia's prince, the baron of the 

Then the three knights those elfin ladies brought 
To their rich bower, by fairy workmen wrought; 
And near a limpid rill that murmur'd round 
An arbour's flowery shade, the feast was crown'd. 
Full many a 'Squire was there, and many a groom, 
And many a torch dispell'd the midnight gloom : 
Meantime to a vast oak, whose knotted age 
Had borne an hundred winters stormy rage, 
They fix'd with bolts Cahgorante's chain ; 
And ten. the bravest of the warrior train 
Watch'd all the livelong night with anxious care, 
Lest ev'n that knotted oak his force should tear, 
And in the hour of sleep the knights assail 
When nought their arms or valour might avail. 

They at the gorgeous board prolonged the night 
In converse on the strange and fearful fight : 


Much of Orillo spoke, and of the charm 

That sav'd in every chance his life from harm ; 

And much of him who fram'd the spell enquir'd, 

And all his passing skill and art admir'd ; 

But he, who Logistilla's index hore 

And read the secrets of enchanted lore, 

Had in that precious tome of science read 

How life was cherish'd when Orillo bled : 

For in his shaggy locks, one single hair 

Was charm'd, and all the spell was treasur'd there ; 

And never till or force or fraud should pull 

That fatal hair or sever from his scull, 

Might bruise or blow the shelter'd carcase maim, 

Or death his prey (so often forfeit) claim. 

But how among its fellows to discern 

That hair, he could not from the volume learn. 

Already in his mind the chief enjoy'd 
The glory of the secret spell destroyed : 
Nor fear'd he from the giant foe to tear, 
As struggling they might close, the fatal hair. 
Courteous he crav'd to share the knightly toil, 
And in his turn the monster strive to foil ; 
And that when morning dawn'd, the gallant pair 
Might pause, and he alone support the war. 
The knights agreed ; for who would e'er believe 
That mortal might that enterprize atchieve ? 

Now from Arabian hills the star of day 
Shot the first promise of Hyperion's ray ; 


When from his lofty tower with giant stride 

Orillo to the plain of battle hied, 

And shook his pond'rous mace and all the knights 


Astolfo took the field ; with eager speed 
He seiz'd his lance, and sprung upon his steed. 
To right, to left, the steely tempest rain'd ; 
But still that charmed bulk the fight maintain'd : 
Now from his wrist Astolfo lopt a hand ; 
Now the whole arm lay bleeding on the sand ; 
Unnumber'd wounds a purple torrent pour'd, 
And every limb by turns received the sword. 
But still Orillo, safe from death or pain, 
His limbs collected as they dy'd the plain. 
Thus long they fought : at last with backward blow 
Through the broad neck of his unguarded foe 
Astolfo's sweeping sword a passage found, 
And roll'd the spell-fraught locks upon the ground. 
Both from their saddles leapt; Astolfo, taught 
By Logistilla's page, the visage caught, 
And, mounting, in his hand the trophy bore 
Far from its trunk along the sandy shore. 
But now Orillo, when the theft he found, 
Sprang headless f on his horse with active bound, 

f Perhaps Ariosto may have borrowed this idea from Dante (Inferno. 
Cant. 28.) 

ed an cor par ch' io '1 veggia 

Un busto seuza capo andar 

E '1 capo tronco tenea per le chiome. 


And following still Astolfo's winged pace 

(So mighty was the charm) prolong'd the chace : 

Here with his prize afar Astolfo fled, 

Here fierce pursued the trunk and claim'd its head. 

But in this contest Rctbicano's speed 

(From wind and flame in magic mixture bred) 

Wide and more wide the knight to distance brought 

Where all at leisure o'er the scalp he sought, 

From midst the tangled locks, that fatal hair 

(Weak minister of death) at once to tear. 

'Twas vain, in locks so thick, the search to make, 

Rough, foul, and matted like a mountain brake, 

Nor one more cuiTd or straighter could he find 

O'er all the scalp, before, around, behind. 

Then in his fertile mind a thought arose 

At once the long defended life to close. 

In his left hand he held aloft the head, 

And in his right the biting sword displayed : 

Close to the skin his hand the edge applied 

From all the head the tresses to divide, 

And with the rest the fatal hair destroy 'J. 

Instant the felon visage ceas'd to breathe ; 
The eyes, distorting, own'd the touch of death : 
The warrior trunk th' expiring influence found, 
And as the hair gave way, confess'd the wound : 
Prone fell the grim pursuer from his horse, 
And all Orillo lay a common corse. 





&TILL slaughter triumphed on Rinaldo's sword ;s 
Still to their camp the routed Pagans pour'd. 
No skill,, no strength could stay the hero's force ; 
Fear went before, and Ruin mark'd his course ; 
'Squires, knights, and kings, in heaps promiscuous lay ; 
None turn'd to weep, none bore a corse away : 

S Charlemagne having been defeated before Marseilles, had retired to 
Paris, and applied himself to raising another army. For this purpose he 
had sent to demand foreign succours : and (Orlando being absent in 
search of Angelica) he had dispatched Rinaldo who was the second of 
his paladins in repute, to the Courts of England and Scotland. In the 
mean time Agramante, emperor of the Moors, had led his army to Paris 
and closely invested the town : but Rinaldo having obtained large supplies 
in England and Scotland, with the personal assistance of Zerbino, prince 
of the latter country, had crossed the narrow sea much sooner than the 
enemy supposed possible; and arriving unexpectedly before Paris, had 
totally defeated Agramante : during the conflict Charlemagne had sallied 
out, and effecting a junction with Rinaldo forced Agramante into his 
camp j and sitting down before it besieged the besieger. 


Behind their works the panting squadrons staid ; 

IN or long their works had such a foe delay 'd, 

But Evening (for perchance th' Eternal Power 

In mercy to his creatures sped the hour) 

O'er the sad scene her sable curtain drew, 

And snatch'd the vanquish'd from the victor's view. 

Imperial Charles his eager army led 
Close to the camp, and all around it spread ; 
For, nurs'd in arms, he knew the hour to save, 
ISov idly lost what fleeting Fortune gave; 
And with vast fires illumin'd all the sky 
Lest favor'd by the gloom the foe should fly. 
Fix'd on the ground his conqu'ring arms had gain'd, 
Without or tents or trench his* troops remain'd; 
While pent within his camp the Moorish lord 1 ' 
Sigh'd o'er the relics of Rinaldo's sword. 
Still clad in arms he flew from post to post, 
Wak'd the tir'd guards, harangued his drooping host, 
The works enlarg'd with trenches, bulwarks, mines, 
And a deep ditch along th' extended lines ; 
Through the long night disdain'd to taste repose, 
And felt no hardship but his people's woes. 

But they, the troops, to private grief a prey, 
Wept the dire havock of that luckless day. 

h The distresses and conduct of Agamemnon seem to be the origin 


Some, rack'd with festering wound or fractur'd 

Deplor'd the general ill, but most their own ; 
Some mourn'd a captive friend, a brother slain, 
For wolves a banquet on the reeking plain : 
Some shudder'd at the slaughter then unborn, 
And watch'd with fearful eyes the streaks of morn. 

Two youths there were in that beleaguer'd place 
In Afric born, of poor but honest race : 
Examples, while the}^ liv'd, of amity; 
And dead, the Muse forbids their fame to die. 
Medor and Cloridano were their names ; 
Their birth and nurture Ptolomitta claims : 
While beardless yet, by love and service tied, 
They follow'd Dardinel, Zumara's pride : * 
Him in the prosperous hours of peace they sought ; 
From him in war his glorious ardor caught ; 
And now beneath his flag from Afric's shore 
They marched, the soldiers of th' imperial Moor, 
But in that fatal onset Dardinel 
Beneath Rinaldo's arm lamented fell; 
And scarce one tenth of all Zumara's band 
Scap'd the dread vengeance of his wasteful hand. 
Long time this pair essay'd the corse to shield, 
Nor, till o'erborne by numbers, left the field. 

* Zumara was not far from the Syrtis Major.. 


118 - 

Bred in the chace to spurn the wintry storm, k 
Robust and large was Cloridano's form : 
Medoro, yet in manhood's early prime,, 
No tinge display'd of Afric's torrid clime : 
On his fresh cheek the opening roses bloom'd, 
And scarce his chin the manly grace assum'd ; 
None, in the myriads leagued in either host, 
Could form or feature like Medoro's boast: 
So bright his eyes, so golden wav'd his hair, 
The choirs of angels are but half so fair. 

Now Night, unquestion'd empress of the sky, 
Roll'd o'er the quiet world her beamless eye. 
On the broad rampart stood the mournful pair, k 
Companions in their toil and in their care : 
Still as their converse flow'd, Medoro's breast 
A sad remembrance of his lord opprest ; 
On the bare plain a naked carcase laid, 
Unknown, unwept, no funeral honours paid. 
Then thus : ' Oh, Cloridano, words were vain 
' To paint my sorrow for our hero slain ; 
* For him, deserted in the midnight hour, 
c Whom ravens tear and famish'd wolves devour. 

k Nisus erat portae custcs, acerrimus armis, 
Hyrtacides ; comitem iEnese quern miserat Ida 
Venatrix, jaculo celerem levibusque sagittis. 
Et juxta comes Euryalus, quo pulchrior alter 
Non fuit iEneadum, Trojana neque induit arma i 
Ora puer prima signans in ^T).sa juventa. 
His amor unus erat, &c. ^ JEn. IX. 17 c. 


' Oh ! ever was he found Medoro's friend — 
' Still prompt to favor, slow to reprehend — 
s So gracious, that but half my debt were paid 
c With the poor forfeit of this worthless head. 
' Mark my resolve : Those honor'd limbs to save, 

* And shield from insult in a secret grave, 

* Mine be it, hence to fly to yonder plains 

f And search among the dead his cold remains — 
' (Haply the Power Supreme my steps may lead 
c Where my lord lies among the vulgar dead) 
c Thine, Cloridan ! to live — and tell the tale, 

* If, hallow'd though it be, my purpose fail/ 

His partner stood amaz'd; such love, such truth. 
Such valour seem'd above Medoro's youth ; 
And much he said that purpose to control 
And calm the swelling anguish of his soul. 
Vain hope ! his grief no argument allay 'd ; 
No prudence check'd him and no fear delay'd ; 
Resolv'd in early youth to meet his doom, 
Or raise with pious hands the hero's tomb. 

When Cloridan his fix'd design beheld, 
i I too/ he cried, f will seek yon fatal field ; 
' I too with thee the work of glory claim 
e And share Medoro's fate, Medoro's fame. 
' Ah ! what could ever yield delight to me, 
f What ever sooth my sorrows, reft of thee ? 
c No ; let me rather seek a glorious end 
e Than waste in anguish for my slaughter'd friend.' 


Thus resolute, to fill the vacant post 

They sought new sentries from the swarthy host : ' 

Then issuing from the gate with stealthy pace 

And oft reverted look, they left the place. 

Still, as the march of Eve, they took their way, 

Where, fearless of their foe, the Christians lay : 

No careful sentry wak'd ; the fires were low ; 

And brooding slumber sate on every brow: ; 

All in the opiate dews of wine were drown'd ; 

And arms, and steeds, and cars were scatter'd round. 

Then Cloridan his hasty footstep staid, 
And, ' Lo ! the time invites,' exulting said ; 
c To yon vile crew, that stabb'd Zumara's lord 
' Revenge and Justice call my thirsty sword — 
* Thou, lest observant some our toil descry, 
( Raise thy quick ear and roll thy heedful eye ; ra 

I Vigiles simul excitat ; illi 

Succedunt, servantque vices. JEn. IX. 221. 

Cernis quge Rutulos habeat fiducia rerum ; 
Lumina rara micant; somno, vinoque sepulti 
Procubuere — silent late loca. lb. 188. 

passim somno vinoque per herbam 

Corpora fusa vident, arrectos littore currus, 

Inter lora, rotasque, viros; simul arma jacere 

Vina simul. lb. 316. 

m Hac iter est — Tu ne qua manus se attollere nobis, 
A tergo possit, custodi et consule longe. 
Haec ego vasta dabo et lato te limite ducam. 

lb. 321, 


* While with my falchion through the prostrate train 
' 1 ope a spacious passage to the plain.' 

He said ; and o'er the barrier armour stept, 
Where stretch'd at length divine Alfeo slept. 
Long had the sage his monarch's favour known, n 
And long with twofold science won renown ; 
Skill'd, or the festering wound with herbs to heal, 
Or by unerring scheme the fates reveal — 
All, but his own — to him the fraudful star 
Had promis'd safe return from glorious war, 
And years and honor'd wealth and peaceful death, 
And mournful friends to catch his parting breath. 
Delusive presage ! first upon the plain 
Headless he lay, by Cloridano slain. 
Then four beside, of whom the race and name 
The lapse of time has stol'n from fleeting fame, 
The falchion found ; and Monchaliera's knight 
Great Palidon, renown'd in single fight. 
Then onward Cloridano mov'd the sword, 
Where, by a cask supported, Grillo snor'd. 
Drain'd of its crimson wealth that cask he chose 
The destin'd pillow of a sound repose ; 
But the fierce Moor while his inebriate brain 
Dreamt of the gay carouse and festive train, 

n Rex idem et regi Turno gratissimus augur ; 
Sed non augurio potuit depellere pestem. 

JEn. IX. 327. 


Far from the carcase roll'd his sever'd head, 
And wine and blood a mingled stream display'd. 
Quick turning from the slain to slaughter new 
He Anthropon and German Conrade slew : 
They long with dice had urg'd the various game, 
And scarcely slept when the Destroyer came ; 
Ah ! happy, had they still their sport pursued,? 
Till Phoebus in the east his beam renew'd ; 
But destiny were vain, could humble man 
The secret ways of fate by foresight scan. 
As when the monarch of the Lybian shades ^ 
By famine parch'd the slumbering fold invades, 
On the whole herd the cruel spoiler preys, 
Nor waits to feed, but still another slays ; 
So Cloridan, untir'd, his falchion plied, 
And its bright edge in various purple dy'd. 

Nor had his youthful mate inactive stood ; r 
But spar'd no vengeance for the vulgar crowd. 

° Purpuream vomit ille animam ; et cum sanguine mixta 
Vina refert moriens. lb. 349. 

Felix ! si protenus ilium 

JEquasset nocti ludum in lucemque tulisset. 

°j. Impastus seu plena leo per ovilia turbans 

fSuadet enim vesana fames) manditque trahitque, 
Molle pecus, mutumque metu, fremit ore cruento. 

JEn. IX. 33». 
* Euryalusdoes the reverse : 

— — Incensus et ipse 
Perfurit, ac multum in medio sine nomine plebem 
Fadumque, Hebesumque, subit — — 


He Ardalic and other chiefs had slain, 

The youthful leaders of the Flan d nan train ; 

Whom Charles but late with glorious knighthood 

And on their virgin shields the lilies s plac'd; 
And costlier honours to their worth had paid, 
But stern Medoro's sword the gift forbad. 

Now in their path of death the vengeful pair 
Ev'n to the couch of Charles had push'd the war, 
Where, while the aged king in quiet slept, 
His paladins alternate sentry kept: 
Here paus'd the satiate youths, ere yet too late, 
Hid their reluctant steel, nor tempted fate, 
Joyful to 'scape, and eager now to find 
The slaughter'd prince, they left the spoil behind : 
Heedful if any embers yet were bright 
Or whisper floated on the breath of night ; 
Through the wide host they pass'd, and reach'd the 

Confus'd with various death, a wilderness of slain : 
Where arms with jewels rich were drench'd in blood; 
Where kings were mingled with their vassal crowd, 
Some crush'd with iron clubs, some pierc'd with 

swords : 
And steeds lay prostrate o'er their gasping lords. 

So spacious was the field, so thick with dead, 
So deep a darkness brooded over head, 

s The Fleurs de Lis. 


That vainly had they sought (till dawn of day) 

Where midst that carnage Dardinello lay. 

But from his inmost soul Mecloro pray'd, 

And call'd for succour from the Delian maid. 

{ Oh, sacred Queen of Night ! whose triple power 

' Primaeval wisdom bad our sires adore ; 

' Whose mystic governance at once pervades 

' The xlir, the Earth, and Pluto's awful shades ; 

' Thou, whose unwearied foot delights to trace 

' The flying game and urge the sylvan chace ; 

' Oh, stoop refulgent from the clouded skies 

' And gild the plain where Dardinello lies ! 

' True to thy laws he liv'd, Zumara's lord : 

' And died, by numbers fear'd, by more cleplor'cl ; 

' Oh, teach me, 'midst the throng, with guiding ray 

c To find, and safe entomb his much-lamented clay !' 

Scarce had he spoke, 1 when through th' incumbent 

The favoring queen her gorgeous orb displayed : 

* La Luna a quel pregar la nube aperse, 
O fosse caso, o pur la tanta fede ; 
Bella ccme fu allor quando s'offerse 
E nuda in braccio a Endimion si diede: 
Con Parigi a quel lume si scoperse 
L'un campo e l'altro, e '1 monte e '1 pian si vede ; 
Si videro i due colli di lontano 
Martire a destra e Leri a l'altra mano. 

It must not be concealed that in the imitation of this passage I did 
not forget Mr. Pope's sublime paraphrase of the concluding lines of the 
Eighth Iliad. 


Bright, as when once on Latinos' airy brow, 
She clasp'd Endymion to her breast of snow. 
Instant o'er all the skies and all the plain 
Shot the rich lustre of her midnight reign : 
Close on the right the steely camps appear'd, 
And hills beyond their wavy summits rear'd ; 
While Paris on the left her splendor shew'd, 
And domes and spires with living silver glow'd. 

But with her brightest beam the goddess shone 
On the pale corse of great Almonte's" son; 
Him, smear'd with dust and gore, Medoro knew 
By his broad shield of white and crimson hue ; 
That fatal shield, which fierce Orlando's pride 
Had claim'd as forfeit when Almonte died; 
But borne and vaunted by his hapless heir 
Had wak'd the fury of Rinaldo's spear. 
Struck with the dismal sight, with copious grief 
The grateful pair deplor'd the lifeless chief; 
But in soft murmurs taught that grief to flow 
(Though negligent of life and worn with woe) 

u Almonte, the father of Dardinello, had many years before been slain 
by Orlando, who thereupon asserted a sole right of bearing his armorial 
ensigns : however Dardinello, when he grew up, assumed them, with a 
determination to revenge his father's death. In the late battle Rinaldo's 
attention had been drawn by the device on Dardinello's shield, which 
was quartered red and white, and he assaulted the youth and killed him ; 
but the defeat and confusion of the Moors immediately becoming general 
on that event, Rinaldo left the shield untouch'd and pursued the routed 


Lest by their waitings rous'd, the foe might rise 
And blast ere yet performed, the promis'd obsequies. 

Soon from the gory field with hopes elate 
Th' advent'rous breth'ren rais'd the welcome weight. 
Medoro held the feet; his partner bore 
The weightier chest and head, and march'd before. 
Weak as they were beneath th' unwonted load 
They press'd with eager steps their homeward road: 
But scarcely (such a burthen was the slain) 
Their shortening steps had measur'd half the plain, 
Ere the bright stars that Midnight's brow adorn 
Shrunk from the blazing streamers of the morn. 
When bold Zerbino, who to rest disdain'd, 
Nor paus'd from slaughter while a foe remain'd, 
And all the night the scatter'd bands had chac'd, 
Now slowly to the field his steps retrac'd. 
At distance though he pass'd, his warrior train 
Observ'd the loaded pair across the plain ; 
And (bent on spoil and bloodshed) onward rode 
To learn what they might be and what their load. 
Then Cloridan, o'ercome with sudden dread, 
Dropt his unconscious lord and trembling said, 
4 Away — our only safety lies in speed — 
* Let not, to save one corse, two soldiers bleed.' 
Discumber'd, soon his flight outstripp'd the windj 
Nor dreamt he that Medoro lagg'd behind : 
But he, in whom a firm affection glow'd, 
On his own shoulders rais'd the mighty load^ 


And stagger'd towards the camp,, while Cloridan 
Ne'er turn'd his head but safe to distance ran — 
Not heedless of Medoro — for he thought 
Flight like his own the youth from peril brought; 
But had he known that by the corse o'erweigh'd 
Beset with cruel foes Medoro staid, 
Ten thousand deaths his manly mind had dar'd, 
And bless'd the fate his lov'd Medoro shar'd. 

Meantime the squadron clos'd on every side/ 
Seiz'd on each pass and all escape denied : 
But chief Zerbino urg'd th' unequal chace, 
Sure that the stranger own'd an hostile race : 
Though shelter'd by the twilight's dubious hour 
His conscious flight had stamp'd him for a Moor. 

It chanc'd upon the field, an ample wood, 
Tangled with brakes and matted foliage stood : 
Within, a thousand turns perplex'd the road 
By prowling wolves alone and lions trod. 
Thither, uninjur'd, Cloridano fled, 
Explor'd the paths and pierc'd the thickest shade ; 
But he, the faithful youth, with feeble feet 
Too tardy tried to gain the-wish'd retreat : 
Still erring in the maze, he press'd in vain 
The circling paths, and found the fields again ; 

x Objiciunt equites sese ad divortia nota 

Hinc atque hinc, omnemque abitum custode coronant. 

Silva fuit, late dumis atque ilice nigra 

Horrida, quam densi complerant undique sentes. 

Rara per occultos lucebat semita calles. JEn. IX. 379. 


While close at hand the fierce Zerbino rode 
And spread his squadron and beset the wood. 

Now Cloridan conceal'd forgot to fear, 
And distant clamors faded on his ear. 
But when he miss'd Medoro, all his mind 
Sunk as his heart itself were left behind — 
e Ah ! wherefore did I flee ? what rage possest, 
( Forgetful of nry friend, my reckless breast ? 
' Where have thy steps, neglected victim, stray'd ? 
' Or fall'n without or err'd within the glade? 
' Ah ! why did I forsake thee ? why forget 
' To list the following echoes of thy feet? ,y 

Instant he left the brake where safe he sate 
And trod the backward path that led to fate. 
Loud and more loud the neighing steeds he heard ; 
Distincter still the martial shouts appeared ; 
Till issuing from the wood, aghast he view'd 
Medoro drooping while the foe pursued. 

y U t stetit et frustra absentem respexit amicum, 
Euryale infelix ! qua te regione reliqui ? 
Quove sequar ? rursus perplexum iter omne revolvens 
Fallacis silvaa, simul et vestigia retro 
Observata legit, dumisque silentibus errat. 
Audit equos, audit strepitus et signa sequentum: 
Nee longum in medio tempus, cum clamor ad aures 
Pervenit ac videt Euryalum, quern jam manus omnis 
Fraude loci et noctis, subito turbante tumultu 
Oppressum rapit et conantem plurima frustra. 

i£n. IX. 38{>. 


On foot, and bow'd beneath the precious load, 
The pious youth had reach'd the skirting wood, 
But horsemen hemm'd him in, while with his" 

The Prince made sign from slaughter to forbear 
But seize the foe alive, a pris'ner of the war. 
He, careless of himself, his utmost force 
Exerted, scant of breath, to save the corse : 
Round the big trunks of aged trees he plied, 
To horse impervious, and each outlet tried, 
Till fainting with the weight, the precious clay 
He dropp'd beneath an oak and stood at bay. 
Thus when on Alpine cliffs the hunter's spear, 
Trac'd to her gloomy den, assails the bear, 
Fixt o'er her young the chafing beast remains, 
Rage urges forth, but Love that rage restrains : 
Now fierce she springs to fight with hideous din; 
Now, trembling for her young, retreats within. 

But Cloridan who saw, nor hop'd to ward 
Medoro's fate, to share that fate prepar'd : 
Yet vengeful in despair, resolv'd to sell 
Dearly his forfeit life ere yet he fell. 
Hid from their view the closing troops he spied, 
And to his trusty bow the shaft applied : 
Straight to its mark it flew, and in the brain 
Struck the first warrior of Zerbino's train. 


Astonish'd at the chance/ at once the crew 

Turn'd towards the copse from whence that arrow flew ; 

Quick from the fatal bow another came 

As keen,, as rapid, with as sure an aim, 

And o'er the expiring chief who gasp'd below 

As the next warrior cried, Who drew the bow 

Sheer through his throat it pass'd and stopp'd his 

And sunk his fierce harangue in silent death. 

Zerbino/ who beheld with deep disdain 
By viewless foes his gallant warriors slain, 
On him whom Fortune gave his eyes to see, 
Vow'd to revenge so base a victory. 
Then by the golden locks with savage force 
He dragg'd Medoro from the royal corse, 
And rais'd his arm — but able now to trace 
The matchless features of that angel face, 
His generous mind so sad a fate deplor'd ; 
He sigh'd his rage away, and drop'd his sword. 

z Diversi circumspiciunt ; hoc acrior idem 
Ecce aliud summa telum librabat ab aure: 
Dum trepidant, iit hasta Tago per tempus utrumque 
Stridens, trajectoque haesit tepefacta cerebro. JEn. IX. 416, 

a Saevit atrox Volscens nee teli conspicit usquam 
Auctorem, nee quo se ardens immitere possit; 
Tu tamen interea calido mihi sanguine paenas 
Persolves amborum inquit ; simul ense recluso 
Ibat in Euryalum. lb. 42Q. 


Then pray'd the youth— c Oh ! by that God on high 

'On whom for mercy all thy hopes rely, 

( Yet hold thine arm I suspend awhile my doom 

' Till my dead king these mournful hands inhume : 

' Think not I ask for life — the vital breath 

' Loath'd I respire, since Dardinello's death : 

( Give me but of my life one little hour 

' To dig this monarch's grave — I ask no more. 

' And if thy sterner will to dogs ordain 

I A gory banquet on this hateful plain, 

f Let these unheeded limbs that banquet crown ; 

( But spare the relics of Almonte's son.' 

Thus pray'd the youth in accents that might move 
The mountain cliffs to thrill with tender love. 
But good Zerbino all his rage resign'd, 
And pity, mixt with wonder, fill'd his mind. 

Just in that pause, a cruel knight who stood 
Regardless of Zerbino's alter'd mood, 
Not far behind, and yern'd for hostile blood, 
With sudden spring his envious spear addrest 
Beyond the Prince, and pierc'd Medoro's breast. 
He drop'd ; upon his cheek the roses fled ; 
And stretch'd at length he seem'd already dead. 
f Curse on the traitor hand that wrought this deed ! ! 
Zerbino cried, ' Behold a suppliant bleed !' 
Then rushing through the throng with lifted sword 
He aim'd destruction at that felon lord - y 


But he with active bound the falling blade 
Eluded^ and in hasty terror fled. 

Now when unhappy Cloridan beheld 
His lov'd Medoro stretch'd upon the field, 
He flung his useless bow and shafts afar, 
And rush'd impetuous forth to open war. 
Oh ! dreadful was his rage ; where'er he strode 
A mound of slaughtered warriors mark'd his road : 
Careless of conquest ; all th' opposing host 
If slain would ill requite Medoro lost: 
But fix'd that ere he died, to grace that shade 
An hecatomb of Christians should be paid. 
Worn out at last by many a distant wound 
He dfop'd his sword, and stooping towards the ground 
One kiss upon the fainting youth impress'd, b 
And breath'd a long farewell and smiling sunk to rest. 

Meantime Zerbino through the devious wood 
(His troops behind) pursued the man of blood ; 
While pale upon the plain Medoro lay 
Senseless, and life itself was ebbing fast away : 
Scarce play'd his lungs, his pulse but feebly flow'd, 
And Death, impatient, told the drops of blood : 
When from the neighbouring grove appear'd a maid 
(So Fortune will'd) in humble weeds array'd 
But royal in her port ; celestial grace 
Breath'd o'er her form and Beauty stamp'd her face. 

b Turn super exanimem sese projecit amicum 
Coufossus, placidaque ; ibi demum morte quievit. 

iEn. IX. 444. 


None like her had great Nature e'er designed 
To dignify the sex and bless mankind : 
Angelica her name ; c her ample sway 
Stretch'd o'er Albracca's realm and proud Cathay. 
Long toss'd by various ills^ the lovely dame 
Now from Ebuda's bloody confines came ; 

c Angelica, having escaped from the Christian camp during the con- 
fusion which followed the defeat at Marseilles, underwent a variety of ad- 
ventures ; and she was at last seized by the inhabitants of Ebuda (an isle 
supposed to lay south of Ireland) as a victim to a sea monster, whose 
hunger they conceiv'd themselves bound to satisfy by the exposure of a 
young maiden at stated intervals, on pain of incurring the fatal displeasure 
of Proteus. While she was tyed naked on the Cliff, Ruggiero, a noble 
knight who had been educated by Atlante the magician, passed through 
the air over her on a flying horse, which had carried him from Atlante's 
castle when Bradamant dissolved its enchantment, and which he had 
afterwards been taught to manage by Logistilla. Ruggiero had on his 
arm the magic shield of Atlante, which produced a temporary stupefac- 
tion in all who saw it, and was on that account always kept by him co- 
vered with a veil ; and he had a ring on his finger, which having been 
given by Gelafron to Angelica, was stolen from her by Brunello, forced 
from him by Bradamant and given by her, through the fairy Melissa, to 
the knight who then wore it. Observing the lady, and learning her dan- 
ger, he exposed his shield and petrified the monster ; but on releasing 
Angelica, became so enamoured of her that he resolved to gratify his de- 
sires. He placed her on the flying steed behind him, made the first 
shore (which happened to be that of France) and there proposed to effect 
his purpose; but he was disappointed. The ring above mentioned had 
the double virtue of preserving the winner of it from all enchantments, 
and of rendering him or her invisible, when held in the mouth : Rug- 
giero when he unveiled his shield had taken the precaution of putting 
thi$ ring on Angelica's finger lest she also should be dazzled by its expo- 
sure j and he had afterwards, in the ardor of his passion, forgotten that 
she had it. However she knew her own ring again ; and fearing Rug- 
giero's violence, as soon as she was disengaged from the horse, availed 


Whence (sav'd from slaughter by Atlante's knight 
And from his amorous force by magic sleight) 
Her sires enchanted ring, which long of yore 
The master thief d had stolen, again she bore. 
Fraught with this well-known charm, her rising pride 
The fellowship of mortal man defied; 
She blush'd that Sacripant e and Brava's lord 
Had unreprov'd her charms so oft ador'd; 
But that for many a month herself had burn'd 
And begg'd Rinaldo's f pity most she mourn'd : 
For none of mortal lineage could she love 
Howe'er his deeds might matchless valor prove ; 

herself of its virtue to escape from his sight. Having recovered such a 
treasure as this ring, she resolved to travel alone and generally invisible 
to her own kingdom ; but in passing through France she met with the 
adventure here related. With respect to the name of this island, Ebuda, 
it may not be impertinent to mention that Pliny and Solinus speak of the 
Ebudae as northern islands contiguous to Britain. Ariosto therefore brings 
one of the Hebrides further south, and awes the inhabitants with the 
terrors of Egyptian Proteus. 

d The master thief was Brunello : he was so expert that he in ono 
day stole Angelica's ring, Marfisa's armour, Orlando's sword, and Sacri- 
pante's horse from under him. Agramante made him a king (to the 
great scandal of the other crowned heads dependent on him) for a piece of 
roguery by which he seduced Ruggiero from Atlante: but Agramante 
afterwards hanged him. 

e Sacripant, a faithful lover of Angelica, wa3 king of Circassia, and 
by far the most humanized of all the Pagan knights. Orlando was lord 
of Brava and Anglante. 

f The repossession of her ring had dissolved the effect of the en- 
chanted fountain, by tasting of which Angelica became enamoured of 


And, swoln with pride of birth and conscious charm** 
She spurn'd the power of Cupid's fancied arms. 
But he, by wayward females ne'er beguil'd, 
Mark'd her o'erweening thoughts, in secret smil'd, 
CulPd his best shaft, the bending iv'ry strung, 
And o'er the bleeding youth in ambush hung. 

Now, pricking o'er the plain, this damsel spied 
The youthful knight in purple torrents dy'd, 
Extended as a corps, an oak beneath, 
And fainting in the chill embrace of death. 
But when, restor'd to sense, she heard his moan, 
His lord's sad fate lamenting, not his own, 
And learnt how Dardinel had fall'n in fight, 
And all the chances of that woful night, 
Thoughts softer than before began to rise, 
And pity, long unfelt, bedimm'd her eyes. 
Then in her mind revolving all the lore 
Which from an Indian sage her mem'ry bore, 
With sovereign juice of simples she prepar'd 
To staunch the welling blood and death to ward. 

A plant not far from thence the damsel knew, 
(Observant of the dingle where it grew 
But little ere she found the fainting youth) 
Powerful the bitter pain of wounds to soothe ; 
Thither in haste she sped, and soon discern'd 
The salutary leaves, and soon return'd ; 
But measuring back her steps, it happ'd she crost 
An aged man, who sought a heifer lost; 


A slow-pac'd palfrey bore him on his way. 

Him, provident of need, Angelica 

To aid her charitable toil besought, 

And where Medoro languish'd, with her brought : 

That when her healing art had sooth'd his pain 

The palfrey might support him from the plain. 

Now with a polish'd flint the herb she bruis'ds 
And in her palm the wond'rous juice infus'd: 
Then pour'd it in the black and festering wound, 
And all the clay-cold flesh fomented round. 

g The manner in which Spenser has transfused this passage into his 
Fairy Queen (b. 3, c. 5,) is not much to the credit of the English poet, 
notwithstanding Mr. Warton is inclined to prefer him to his Italian mo- 
dels. Speaking of Belphebe and Timias, he says, 

Into the woods thenceforth in haste she went 

To seek for herbs that mote him remedy; 

For she of herbs had great intendiment 

Taught of the nymph, which from her infancy 

Her nursed had in true nobility. 

There, whether it divine Tobacco were, 

Or Panachea, or Polygony, 

She found, and brought unto her patient dear 
Who all this while lay bleeding out his heart's blood near. 

The sovereign weed betwixt two marbles plain 

She pounded small and did in pieces bruise; 

And then atween her lily handes twain 

Into his wound the juice thereof did scruze, 

And round about, as she could well it use, 

The flesh therewith she suppled and did steep, 

T' abate all spasm and soak the swelling bruize; 

And after, having search'd the intuse deep, 
She with her scarf did bind the wound from cold to keep. 
The curious reader may compare the remainder of this canto with 
Ariosto's story. The management is different, Medoro being the beloved 
object and Timias the lover : but the general idea is the same. 


Instant the closing fibres staid the blood ; 

And life through all his frame rekindling glow'd. 

He heav'd him from the ground, and gathering force 

He rear'd his languid limbs and climb'd upon the horse. 

Yet think not that he turn'd his steps away 

Regardless of his lord's much honor'd clay ; 

With pious hands an humble grave he made 

And Cloridan beside their monarch laid ; 

Then with a long drawn sigh he left the dead 

And grateful follow'd where the damsel led. 

Her the old swain to his sequester'd cell 
Conducted and besought her there to dwell : 
For to a new-born pity now a prey- 
She still beside the youth resolv'd to stay; 
Watch o'er his bed of sickness, ease his pain, 
Prevent his wants, and bid him bloom again. 
So tender grew the maid, what time she view'd 
Medoro's matchless form in gore embrued ; 
But when she day by day enraptured hung 
On the soft music of his angel tongue ; 
And when his gracious mind she learn'd to prize 
And drank resistless poison from his eyes, 
A secret anguish gnaw'd her inmost frame, 
And her proud fancy glow'd with amorous flame. 

'Twas in a fruitful valley girt with wood, 
And fenc'd with shelt'ring hills the cottage stood. 
There long she sought with balms and soft repose 
On his pale cheek to wake the languid rose ; 


But ere her skill could heal th' external scar 
Grav'd on his breast by that detested spear, 
From Cupid's dart she felt a wound within 
Deadlier, though bloodless, larger, though unseen. 

Oh ! lasting are the scars and dire the blow 
From sightless darts and an ideal bow ; 
And what avails, with idle toil to try 
To scape the glances of a radiant eye, 
When Love each feature arms with secret spells, 
Hangs in the locks and in a dimple dwells? 

Still as her cares Medoro's pain assuag'd, 
Fierce and more fierce her feverish passions rag'd : 
She sicken'd, as she heal'd her lover's wound 5 
And droop'd despairing, when her vows were crown'd 
Returning health a roseate lustre pour'd 
Around his form, and every grace restored ; 
But still the more his manly blushes bloom'd, 
Her alter'd cheeks a fainter tint assumed. 
Disorder'd is her frame ; she shakes, she burns, 
Wasted with chilly dews and heat by turns ; 
Her features pine, her beauteous limbs decay 
Like snow dissolving at the glare of day ; 
Her angel smile, her vermeil tincture flies ; 
And fades the matchless lustre of her eyes. 

? Twas vain, she knew, Medoro's vows to wait, 
Too humble to aspire to such a mate. 
'Twas her's to ask for love ; but maiden shame 
Jlepress'd the tender accents as they came < 


Till, frenzied by her passion, love supplied 
The burning words that Modesty denied ; 
Each new desire, each rising thought she told, 
And bless'd the golden yoke she scorn'd of old. 

Oh Brava's lord ! of Christian realms the boast- 
Oh Sacripant ! the gem of Asia's host — 
Say with what pledge of love this haughty maid 
Your sufferings or your triumphs e'er repaid ? 
Ah! wherefore did you fight and nobly toil 
To raise her trophies with unbounded spoil, 
Why shame the annals of recording fame 
To win one smile from this ungrateful dame ? 
From her, who to a page can yield her charms, 
And mock your glories in a stripling's arms — 
Oh Agrican ! h long number'd with the dead, 
Could'st thou again uprear thy awful head, 
How meanly would'st thou prize this fatal fair 
And curse thy love, that gave the world to war ! 

h Agrican was king of Tartary. Being desperately in love with An- 
gelica, he levied an army, and approaching the frontiers of Cathay de- 
manded her as his wife of her father Gelafron ; who, being intimidated, 
consented. Angelica (who was at that time under the influence of the 
Waters of Love, and doated on Rinaldo) could not endure the thoughts 
of this union; but escaping, betook herself to the fortress of Albracca, 
where Agrican besieged her. The war of Albracca is one of the finest 
parts of the Orlando Innamorato. Angelica sent couriers round the 
world for succour: Orlando, Sacripant, Astolfo, Rinaldo, and many 
others, fought under the walls of Albracca: and after a dreadful contest 
in which several of the greatest potentates were destroyed, Agrican was 
killed by Orlando. 


Oh Ferrau ! s oh all ye princely bands, 
Whose valor spread her fame in distant larids", 
Oh ! quench the dangerous flame, forget your care^ 
Be deaf to Rumour's voice, and dread despair ! 
She, whose cold bosom baffled every chace, 
Who spurn'd the mightiest of the mortal race, 
Now feels of servile eyes the soft control, 
And gives to amorous rapture all her soul. 

But turn we to the tale ; Angelica 
(Howe'er to boundless love a willing prey) 
Yet sought, to shield the deed from censure's eye, 
The specious sanction of the nuptial tie. 
Full solemn was the shew ; the good old swain 
Was there, and, gaily deck'd, the village train ; 
Young Cupid deign'd the choral ranks to guide, 
And Hymen shook his torch, and Venus led the bride. 

Thus, blest in all her wishes, long she staid 
In the calm precincts of that lonely glade. 
Still by Medoro's side, the doating queen, 
Or slumb'ring in his lap, was ever seen ; 
Each passing hour in pleasure was employ'd 
Nor pall'd their converse, or caresses cloy'd. 
At eve, or early morn, they left the cell, 
And stray'd through every mead and every dell ; 

* Ferrau, or Ferrautte, was a Mahometan knight of Spain, nephew to 
king Marsilio. He fell in love with Angelica when she first appeared in 
Europe, and killed her brother Argalia, because the latter would not force 
her to marry him : Ariosto intimates that he was finally killed by Or- 
lando ; but Fortinguerra makes him a conspicuous and ludicrous charac- 
ter in his Ricciardetto. 


Of various flowers fantastic chaplets wove, 

And listen'd to the birds that sung of love. 

At noon their humble roof receiv'd the pair 

And screen'd their beauties from the scorching air* 

Or to their sweet repose an ample cave 

The stillness of its grateful shelter gave. 

Where'er with glossy rind the poplar bough 

Droop'd to the limpid rill that crept below; 

Where'er the beech its polish'd branches wav'd, 

Memorials of his bliss the youth engrav'd; 

With letters intermixt inscribed their names, 

Or wreath'd in amorous knots, and crown'd with flames : 

And in the spacious cavern, where the stone, 

Subdued by dripping moisture, soft was grown, 

In lasting characters th' enamour'd boy 

Thus told the raptures of his nuptial joy. 

c Ye flowers, ye trees, ye limpid streams, that run 
1 In mazy rills, unconscious of the Sun : 
c Ye bowers umbrageous, and ye darkling caves, 
' Where from the pendent brow thick foliage waves, 
* Where she, whose power Cathaian regions own, 
e Nurs'd in Albracca's tower by Gelafron, 
( Angelica, by monarchs vainly sued, 
' An outcast Moor with warm emotion view'd-*- 
' How shall Medoro raise, in artless rhyme, 
' His gratitude, beyond the reach of Time ? 
' How tell his thanks to ages yet to come 
' For hours of transport in your friendly gloom? 


f ' Oh ! ne'er may gentle knight, whose heart has pvov'd 

( The ecstasy to love and be belov'd ; 

' Nor ever, gentle dame, whose tender breast 

' The chilling hand of pride has ne'er opprest, 

*' Nor traveller, nor yet the rustic throng 

' Whom chance or choice may bring these dales 

c With sacrilegious hands pollute the place 
e Where blest 1 languish'd in my queen's embrace ! 
' But ever may they pray the stars to shower 

* Their softest influence on that hallow'd bower, 
6 That none, profane, his flock may thither lead 
' To crop the treasures of the pencil'd mead, 

* But still the moon those shadowy grottos love, 
r And every nymph protect Medoro's grove.' 



Page 5, line 2, (note) for Rifinto read Rifiuta. 
6 y line 10, for squallid read squalid. 
11, line 5, (note) for vituperso read vituperio. 
2 2, last line but three, for Lucea read Lucca. 
23, line l, (note) dele semicolon after profundum. 
23, line 3, (note) for torti readforti. 

25, line 6, for Reek'd read Reck'd. 

26, last line but one, for pass'd read pass. 
51, line 9, (note) for ha read ha. 

53, last line, for squallid read squalid. 
59, line 13, for dragg'd read drugg'd. 

T. Bensley, Printer, 
Bolt Court, Fleet Street. 








Or call up him who left half-told 

The story of Cambuscan bold, 

Of Cambal and of Algarsife, 

And who had Canace to wife 

That own'd the virtuous Ring and Glass ; 

And of the wondrous Horse of Brass 

On which the Tartar King did ride. — 







1 here is something so presumptuous in un- 
dertaking to complete a story, left unfinished 
by a Poet of Chaucer's eminence, that the 
public has a right to some apology from me 
for the attempt itself, as well as to some ac- 
count of the objects which were considered 
as principally to be kept in view, in the con- 
struction of the fable as it now stands. 
With respect to the first point, I fear I can 
make no good defence ; but must throw my- 
self on the Reader's mercy. I have long 
regarded Chaucer's fragment on this subject 
as written in his best style, and I have often 
greatly regretted that Mr. Dryden did not 
apply to the completion of a story so well 
begun, the powers of his inexhaustible ge- 
nius, and that wonderful variety of harmony 
which he possessed, so exclusively, as never 
to have been equalled, and indeed, of late 
years, never to have been imitated. That 


vigour and terseness of expression, that rich, 
glowing imagery which distinguish his heroic 
versification from that of all other English 
Poets, seemed to me peculiarly well adapted 
to a subject of this kind, partaking in some 
measure of the nature of Epic poetry, and 
in some measure of the less dignified style 
which is appropriated to Tales. Chaucer, 
had he lived at a later period, though he 
would have preserved his nice discrimination 
of character, and the forcible style which 
brings action before the reader's eye, would 
have enriched his poems with all the graces 
which Time, Taste, and Learning have inter- 
woven into the originally coarse fabric of his 
native tongue. To copy the turn of thought, 
the boldness of figure, and the animation of 
Chaucer's poems, is to copy Chaucer : to 
preserve his hobbling cadences and obsolete 
phrases, is to copy the baldness of our lan- 
guage at the period when he lived. Had 
Chaucer lived in the seventeenth century, 
he would have given us his Palamon and Ar- 
cite, as Dryden has dressed it. How he would 
have finished his Cambuscan, had he flourish- 
ed now; or how he ever did finish it; I am 
not bold enough to conjecture : but sure I 

am, that, in an attempt fully to colour a pic- 
ture of which he has left us the faintest out- 
line possible, I shall acquit myself more to 
the satisfaction of the critical world by keep- 
ing in mind the language and numbers in 
which Dryden has told some of the Canter- 
bury Tales, than by sedulously imitating the 
dryness of the original poems: the expression 
of Chaucer being, indeed, strong and quaint; 
but very inadequate to convey either His 
ideas or Dryden's. 

With respect to the manner in which the 
fable is turned in the following poem, and 
the plan upon which the new incidents were 
contrived, so as to tally with what Chaucer 
had left; it may be necessary to remind the 
reader, that his fragment consists of one en- 
tire book, and of a great part (if not the 
whole) of a second. To preserve these, was 
matter of absolute necessity in a poem, which 
professes to be a completion of the unfinished 
story : so that all the subsequent events were 
to have their origin in what Chance? himself 
had related in these two books. But a fur- 
ther difficulty was yet to be encountered 
with : for, in the last lines of the second 
book, the poet distinctly states what sort of 


events he proposes to relate in the sequel. 
Hence it followed, that this poem was not 
only to rest on incidents which might arise 
out of Chaucer's beginning-, but which might 
bring about that catastrophe and include those 
circumstances, of which Chaucer, at the close 
of his fragment, declares it his intention to 

The concluding lines of Chaucer's second 
book are as follows: 

I woll no more speke of hir ring, 

Till it come eft to purpose for to sain 

How that this falcon gat hir love again 

Repentant, as the story telleth us, 

By mediation of Camhalus, 

The kinges son, of which that I you told : 

But henceforth I woll my proces hold 

To speke of aventures and battails, 

That yet was never hird so grete mervaills. 

First woll I tell you of Cambuscan, 
That in his time many a city wan -, 
And after woll I speke of Algarsif ; 
How that he wan Theodora to his wif 
For whom full oft in grete peril he was, 
Ne had he ben holpen by the Hors of Bras. 
And after woll I speke of Camlalo, 
That fought in listes with the brethren two 
For Canace, er that he might hir winne : 
And there I left I woll again beginne. 


Any reader will observe that there must be 
an erroneous reading in this passage, as 
Mr. Tyrwhit in his notes very justly suggests : 
for if Camhalo were a brother of Can ace, he 
could not fight for her with her tzvo brothers, 
of whom he himself was one: and I think it 
equally clear, that Spencer was mistaken in 
supposing that Cambalo fought in defence of 
his sister, against two other brethren : — for 
so, he could not be said to Winne her. Mr. 
Tyrwhit says, that one of the MSS. which he 
consulted, read, for Cambalo, Cabalo, making 
two persons, of names distinct, though re^ 
sembling each other; Cambalo the brother, 
and Cabalo the lover, of Canace : and upon 
this reading I have grounded my Arabian 
name, Al-KabaL 

The story of the Falcon, in the second 
book, is so void of interest, even in Chau- 
cer's hands, that had it not been pointed out 
in the above lines as a constituent part of his 
fable, I should have left it entirely out of 
mine; and should have taken my departure 
from the more interesting and magnificent 
circumstances which are detailed in the first 
book. On this account, however, I was 
obliged to retain — nay to dwell upon, and to 


adopt, this exceptionable episode as part of 
my fable. I have, it is true, taken the li- 
berty of retrenching much of what Chaucer 
has said, and of adding some softening tints 
of my own; yet still I am so conscious that 
it is inconsistent, as well with sound criti- 
cism, as with the general tenor of the poem, 
that I think it necessary to make the reader 
acquainted in the outset with the reasons by 
which I thought myself compelled to retain 
that passage; in hopes of so conciliating a 
little of his favour, where I could not other- 
wise expect it. 

Most of Chaucer's fables are to be traced 
in the popular writings of the thirteenth and 
fourteenth centuries; but this of Cambus- 
can (though in one passage he alludes to an 
original story) is, I believe, to be found in 
the Canterbury Tales only. The enchant- 
ments in it savour of Arabian genius ; the 
names, Cambuscan, i. e. Khan Busch Khan ; 
and Cambal, i. e. Khan Bal; are evidently of 
Tartar origin. As Marco Polo's account of 
his wanderings in the vast provinces of Asia 
was probably made public at the very close 
of the thirteenth century (for he reached 
Venice, his native place, in 1295), it is not 


unlikely that Chaucer may have adopted 
some of the stories imported by him, or fa- 
bricated out of the materials so obtained : 
for our poet was born in 1328, before the 
memory of what had been seen and told by 
the Poli could have faded away. At any 
rate, if the story as Chaucer began it was 
not derived from such a source, and if he 
laid together or invented the incidents of 
which it was to be formed, j'et it is highly 
probable he might intend to apply them to 
that great Tartar monarch, of whose power 
and munificence Marco Polo had witnessed 
and related such wonders. On this proba- 
bility I have ventured to suppose Cambuscan 
was the Great Chan of Tartary, reigning 
over numberless realms (subdued by himself 
or his ancestors), and living in a great de- 
gree secluded from the contemporary nations 
of the South and West: and on this suppo- 
sition, I have ventured to rest the plan of my 

Ginghis Khan, originally named Tamu- 
gin, was a Mongol Tartar of high rank, born 
among the hordes of Mongols Kiat, in A. D. 
1154. He married the daughter of Ung 
Khan, who was called by European writers 

of that and later ages, Prester John, and, 
quarrelling with his father-in-law, expelled 
him, seized his dominions, conquered great 
part of eastern Tartary in a course of rapid 
successes, and was consecrated emperor, 
under the name of Ginghis Khan, by a pro- 
phet, in a Kuriltai, or national assembly. 
He afterwards enlarged his armies; and, ex- 
tending his views of empire, subdued China 
and India; and then turning his arms west- 
ward, added all western Tartary to his do- 
minions, made a successful irruption into 
Europe, and died in the height of his glory 
A. D. 1226. 

Three out of his four sons survived him. 
His eldest had been, in his father's lifetime, 
intrusted with the government of those coun^ 
tries which lie west of the Caspian, and 
formed the frontier of his empire that way; 
a tract, in which I place Sarra: for Sarra 
was the principal town in Circassia, if by 
that name Chaucer mean the town called 
Serrty by Rubruquis. This prince enlarged 
the Tartar dominions very much on the side 
of Russia; but died in his father's lifetime, 
leaving a son called Khan Bat-u. Abulfara- 
gius calls the prince himself, Touschi-Khan : 

Mirkhond calls him Giougi Khan ; but these 
historians agree in the name of his son. 
Mirkhond flourished in the fifteenth cen- 
tury; Abulfaragius in the thirteenth, while 
the sons and grandsons of Ginghis were yet 
sitting on the thrones bequeathed to them 
by him : so that it is more likely the latter 
should be accurate in the names of the seve- 
ral princes, than Mirkhond, three hundred 
years afterwards; and that the real name 
of the eldest son of Ginghis was Touschi 

Here then, by the alteration of one letter 
in one name, and of two in another, an ety- 
mologist would fix at once on two of the 
principal persons in Chaucer's poem — Cam- 
buscan and Cambalo, The iteration of the 
title Khan is only by way of dignity, like 
our phrase of King of Kings ; and if instead 
of the letter T you substitute B, and read 
Bouschi for Touschi. vou have Cam-bousch- 
cam or Khan-Bousch-Khan for Cambuscan; 
and Cambalo (Khan-Bal-o) by reading t for 
/, and u for o, becomes Khan Bat-u. An 
etymologist would further strengthen his in- 
ference, by observing, in the Tartar History, 
that Alancava, one of the remote female an- 


ccstors of Ginghis, had a son called Bouschin 
Khan; and that Aurungzebe, one of the col- 
lateral descendants of Ginghis, had a son 
called Khan Bousch: and he would not have 
any doubt or scruple in identifying Cam- 
buscan with the eldest son of Ginghis. I 
will however content myself with thinking 
it probable that Chaucer did mean to speak 
of that prince under the name of Cambus- 
can ; at least sufficiently probable, to warrant 
my fixing on the family of Ginghis for that 
of my hero; and making him the eldest son 
of that conqueror, surviving him, and enjoy- 
ing his crown and power. 

Admitting Cambuscan to be Touschi 
Khan, Sarra must be Serrey (situated on the 
Wolga, near the present Astrachan), which 
was the capital city of Khan-Bat-u. 

In the black-letter edition of Chaucer, 
Cambuscan is said to have warred in Sorie: 
now Sorie in the old English generally means 
Syria; but if it be here the true reading, and 
if Cambuscan be Tousch Khan, I should sup- 
pose it rather to be a corruption of Serea : 
for the natives of Turkestan were by the 
Europeans called Seres; and Rubruquis, as 
well as Marco Polo, speaks of wars waged 


between that people and the sons of Ginghis. 
If, however, by Sorie Chaucer meant Syria, 
he might allude to the troubles in Armenia 
by which the first papal embassy to Prester 
John was stopt (vid. Forster's North. Disc.) 
I have followed what I thought the better 
reading, ' warred in Russie^ as coinciding 
more with the situation of Sarra or Serrey ; 
with the name Theodora, which is the same 
as Feodora, and common in Muscovy ; and 
with the real direction of Touschi's military 
attempts, and those of his son Khan- 

To furnish the government from whence 
the rider of the Brazen Horse, in Chaucer's 
first book, is deputed, we cannot look to 
Proper India ; as that was then ruled by an- 
other of the sons of Ginghis : nor can we look 
to Arabia, for the King of Arabye and hide ; 
because that country would afford us no po- 
tentate except the Caliph ; and he (besides 
being too insignificant) must have been well 
known to the Tartars : it is requisite there- 
fore that we should go to regions more re- 
mote. At the time of the expedition of 
Gama, in A. D. 1497, the kingdom of Me- 


linda, on the east coast of the African penin- 
sula, was of great power and extent, and 
had intimate commercial connexions with 
India: at a period of much higher antiquity, 
the gold mines of Sofala or Ophir, further 
to the southward on the same coast, had 
made that country powerful: and the king- 
dom of Adel, near Cape Gardefan to the 
northward, had also its asra of prosperity, 
when it was connected by commerce and 
colonies with Arabia. All these countries 
lie so distinct from the theatre on which 
Ginghis rendered his name and nation con- 
spicuous, as to make it probable the several 
powers should be very indistinctly known to 
each other : I have therefore concentrated 
the greatness of Sofala, Meliuda, and Adel, 
into one kingdom of Ophir ; supposing it to 
have extended its dominion over the south- 
ern parts of Arabia, and the peninsula of 
India, and as many of the Indian islands as 
the reader may be pleased to throw in, to 
form a power great enough to combat that 
of the Tartarian empire. : and from the reign- 
ing despot of those countries I suppose the 
rider of the Brazen Horse to have been de- 
legated to Cambuscan. 


The subjects of Cambuscan being identi- 
fied with those of the Tartarian Khan, it 
followed of course that their religion must 
be the same. I have therefore made them 
followers of the Tibetian doctrine; and have 
referred for what I say on that head to Mr. 
Turner's account of his embassy to the Lama. 
The Ophirians I have supposed to be Ma- 
hometans : both these sects believed in the 
agency of beings of a middle nature, be- 
tween God and man, called Genies, or 
Pheris, by the one ; and Dewtas by the 
other : so that what little machinery of that 
kind I have ventured to use, is reconcileable 
to the common tenets of both parties ; and 
my supernatural beings may be supposed 
objects of their general belief and veneration 
without incongruity. 

If it be objected to me, that, grounding 
what I have added to Chaucer's Fragment 
on history, I . have nevertheless deviated 
from the truth of history, as well as the ac- 
curacy of chronology, in many instances : I 
reply, that it is far from my wish that the 
facts, of my story should be credited. I am 
not vain enough even to suppose that my 
readers will derive any solid advantage from 


those parts of the poem which contain re- 
flexions : I have aimed, however weakly, to 
please ; and to please only. 



Cambuscan, long in martial story known, 
In times of yore adorn'd the Tartar throne : 
Fierce wars he wag'd the Russian power to quell ; 
And many a gallant chief untimely fell. 

No monarch might with his renown compare, 
So high his virtues did Cambuscan bear: 
In his rich mind so plenteous seem'd to spring- 
Each grace, each attribute that decks a king. 
Still by his Country's laws his rule he squar'd ; 
Still the established Rites with reverence shar'd : 
Hardy and wise and frugal of his store, 
He never squeez'd the groaning land for more j 
But just and righteous in his court he sate, 
Nor sacrinVd the poor to please the great. 


True honour was enthron'd within his breast^ 
And courage, never vaunting, ne'er depress'd : 
Age had not yet benumb'd his sinewy arms., 
Or dulFd his eagle eye in war's alarms; 
For none of all his youthful knights around 
Replied more promptly to the trumpets sound. 

Nor to th' intrinsic qualities of mind 
Had Fortune here her bounteous gifts confin'd, 
But every charm that wins the vulgar eye 
Shower'd o'er his limbs in prodigal supply ; 
In all the man was beauty, strength and grace; 
'Twas hard to say which held the upper place: 
And on his brow the sceptre of command 
Was plainly stamp'd by God's peculiar hand. 
But more — whatever (for his own renown 
To add new lustre to his royal crown, 
Or for his people's good to ease some ill, 
Or higher yet their cup of joy to fill), 
His valour or his policy had plann'd, 
Success with all his works went hand in hand, 
Since first in Sarra (twenty winters past) 
On the Tartarian throne his youth was plac'd. 

In early prime, Dame Elfeta his wife 
Bore her first hope, the noble Algarsife; 
Her second, Cambal : and to these confin'd 
Her princely issue of the stronger kind. 
A daughter then she bore, fair Canace, 
The last but not least lov'd of all the three. 

To paint her charms would ask a master hand, 

That summons thoughts to life with Fancy's wand : 

E'en He/ whose words Drought all before the eye, 

And cloth'd with shape ideal imag'ry, 

Had fail'd perchance her beauties to pourtray, 

And number her perfections in his lay. 

Far less may 1, a poet all unskill'd, 

On such a theme my trembling pencil wield, 

And dwell presumptuous on so fair a face, , 

Which Zeuxis' glowing tints had fail'd to trace. 

Throughout his reign this King with proud array 
Observ'd with solemn pomp his natal day. 
Then all were call'd his royal feast to share, 
And clarions rung the knell of Toil and Care : 
Then Splendour was display'd, and Dignity, 
With excellence of cheer and welcome free : . 
The dance, the pageant, and the rich repast, 
Each other, as they pall'd, by turns replac'd : 
What pleasure each man lov'd, he found it there ; 
And who lov'd none was led in all to share : 
That every face Mirth's dimpled livery wore, 
And Cynics laugh'd that frown'd twelve months before. 

Now when his twentieth feast Cambuscan held. 
And all were rang'd in Sana's ample field, 

a E'en He, &c] Alluding to Shakspear's lines in Midsummer-Night's 

As imagination bodies forth 

The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen 
Turns them to shape, 

To Aries' house his car Apollo whirl 'd, 

With beams unclouded to revive the world. 

Then starting Nature felt the vernal glow 

Swell in her veins, and smooth'd her furrow'd brow : 

Flickering the song-birds hopp'd from spray to spray, 

And their plumes glisten'd in the noon tide ray, 

While each to love attun'd his narrow throat, 

And in one Sun-beam Winter's reign forgot. 

Short sighted race ! your scanty reason sees 

Eternal verdure in fresh opening trees; 

Thinks each new flow'r must e'er the meads adorn. 

And in each day-star hails perpetual morn. — 

Vain hope! — where'er the rapid Sun declines, 

Behind the icy sword of winter shines ; 

And He but calls to transient life and joy, 

That the keen blast may wither and destroy. 

High on his throne, with royal robes o'erspread; 
The badge of empire glittering on his head, 
The King to all his kind regards address'd; 
The life at once and master of the feast. 
The pomp was such as might become the state 
Of one like Sana's monarch, rich and great; 
Nor cost nor taste was wanting in the treat. 
The odorous gums, the services of gold, 
The carvings that the Tartar glories told, 
The bowls emboss'd, that equal seem'd to shine 
Without, from gems ; within, from sparkling wine : 


The viands, ransack'd from the land and sea 
To pamper many-throated Luxury; 
The dance by night, the tournament by day,, 
The harper's symphony, the poet's lay, 
Proclaim'd a king : let now my numbers tell 
The wonders at this banquet that befel. 

Thus, in his royal hall, in gorgeous state, 
When circled by his peers Cambuscan sate, 
(Listening with eager ears the solemn sound 
That stole from every Minstrel's harp around), 
At once, a novel object struck their view — 
A stranger Knight within the portal drew. 
The Courser he bestrode appear'd of brass : 
Within his grasp he held a Mirror Glass : 
On his right thumb a ring of gold he wore, 
And in his belt a naked sabre bore. 
Attention seiz'd the crowd : — all look'd, none spoke 
Scarce ev'n a breath the awful silence broke ; 
While on his burnish'd courser up the hall 
He pac'd, majestic, and inclin'd to all. 
Arms of bright steel, enrich'd with jewels rare, 
Cas'd all his person; but his head was bare. 
Before the royal board his horse he staid, 
And to the throne a low obeisance made ; 
Then, as the peers were marshalFd at the feast, 
With courteous words saluted every guest : 
So graceful, as he spoke, he bow'd his head ; 
A turn so polish'd ran through all he said; 

That Gawaine b (once the pride of Arthur's time 

Long lull'd by Fairies in their Elfin clime) 

No sentence could have chang'd, had he been there, 

Or hail'd that presence with a nobler air. 

Then with a manly voice and visage grave, 

Full credence of himself the Stranger gave : 

The purport of his coming first explain'd, 

The Realm from whence, and who the King that reign'd ; 

And then, in order due the gifts expos'd, 

Their powers and wonderous properties disclos'd. 

So eloquent he was, that in the speech 

Detraction could no single word impeach : 

And as along his various theme he rang'd, 

Still his harmonious voice and pauses chang'd ; 

For ev'ry thrilling glance that round he flung, 

And each bold gesture, from the subject sprung. 

Such is the rare perfection of the art, 

When practis'd Genius plays a master part: 

Such is the charm that, through the ear distill'd, 

Saps the whole soul till melting wisdom yield. 

Oh ! may my simple verse but faintly reach 

The substance only of so rich a speech — 

Hopeless to catch the gloss that rhetoric gives; 

The lights, the shades, by which the language lives. 

h That Gawaine, &c] Sir Gawaine, king Arthur's nephew, was the 
model of Courtesy among the Knights of the Round Table. It is fabled 
of him, that he was carried away to Fairy Land, and there will remain 
with the Elves for ever, exempt from mortality. 

* I come from one, illustrious Prince/ he said, 
e One, like thyself, by various realms obey'd : 
( Far in the South by all the realms, that run 

* From Afric to the cradle of the Sun. 

f But ev'n so far Cambuscan's fame extends : 

r And from th' Ophirian c throne great Aulum sends 

4 Me, all unmeet, to hail thy royal name, 

' His thoughts express, and mutual friendship claim. 

e Deem not from jealous fears his mission springs — 

r He towers above the thoughts of common kings — 

' And twenty wars for twenty kingdoms won 

f His marble walls in living sculpture crown. 

' And why should Envy, Fear, or Doubt arise 

* 'Twixt Monarchs, canopied by different skies ! 

* The radiance of his power can never shine 

r More or less bright, as glows the blaze of thine : 
' For Worlds d distinct your separate thrones obey, 

* And all who feel your seasons feel your sway— 

* And from, &c] Ophir, or Sofala, is situate on the East coast of 
the Peninsula of Africa, within the tropic of Capricorn, 

d For Worlds distinct, &c] The Dominions of Cambuscan lay en- 
tirely without the northern Tropic: Aulum' s original possessions lay 
beyond the equator, and all his conquests within the Tropics ; so that the 
southern Hemisphere exhibited different stars to the Ophirian from those 
seen by Cambuscan in the Northern; and the phenomena of the Morjr- 
soons, which regulated Aulum's navigation, were unknown to the Cas- 
pian, Euxine, and Chinese seas, on which alone the subjects of Cambus- 
can sailed. The seasons also were inverted in the several dominions of 
these potentates ; whence the Ambassador says they rule over distinct 


c By his own rules our Neptune storms or sleeps, 
c Nor heeds the discord of your lawless deeps: 
< And o'er our Heav'n the glittering orbs that roll, 
' Nor lend nor borrow from the northern Pole — 
c Then to their proper cause these gifts assign ; 
f And (great thyself) to kindred worth incline. 

' First then, Oh Prince ! behold this brazen Steed : 
( In order, as in bulk, let this precede. 
' Art never modell'd yet so rare a frame 
' Since to her aid she won persuasive flame. 
e These limbs, these muscles of refulgent brass, 
' Limbs, which the breath of life informs, surpass : 
' Nor to her works can Nature's power impart 
' Such active strength as this derives from Art. 
6 Stark as he stands, thy wish shall urge the Steed 
r So quick, thy wish shall scarce outrun his speed : 
( For 'twixt the hour when Phoebus 'gins to gleam, 
c And the next lifting of his golden beam, 
' Round the whole globe his circling course shall wheel, 
' And thou, the Rider, scarce the labour feel. — 
' Nay, if thy new ambition seek to tread 
' Th' aerial ocean round this planet spread, 
e The Steed, self-borne, through air shall win his way, 
* Rush through the storms, or in the sun-beams play, 

' Or midway pausing in his full career 


' Hang, the Moon; and view this nether sphere 

€ In prospect stretch'd, as one expanse, below : 

' Seas, vales, and plains, and Kaf 's imperial brow. c 

f He too can upward aim his spiry flight, 

€ And soar beyond the ken of mortal sight, 

{ Like the bold bird, that seeks the realms above, 

* And stedfast gazes on the eye of Jove. 

I Vast was the mind that such a fabric plann'd ; 

' And fraught with skill divine the plastic hand 

' That with such art the mineral mass could tame,, 

' And breathe mechanic life into the frame. 

e Seas, vales, &c] Many different parts of the great chain of moun- 
tains which begins at Olympus in the lesser Asia, and, sending out many 
branches, extends easterly to Thibet, if not to China; were by the an* 
tients called Caucasus. The Orientals in their mythology attribute won- 
ders to this ridge, which they denominate Kaf. They say the mountain 
forms a girdle round the whole earth, from which the Sun rises, and on 
which he sets: that it has its foundation on the stone Saxhrat, which is 
the axis on which the earth performs its daily revolution ; and that the 
smallest particle of that stone, in the possession of any Man, enables him 
to work miracles. They add that when God intends to make an Earth- 
quake, he commands this stone to give motion to one of its fibres (of 
which it has many ramifying through the Earth), and all the phenomena 
of an earthquake instantly take place. They say further, that the interior 
of Kaf is the prison of the rebellious Genii; but that the Fays, or Pheri, 
who are good spirits, reside on its summit : that there also the bird Simor- 
ganza dwells j of a size so vast, that he would soon devour all eatable 
things in the creation, were not provisions provided for him in those inac- 
cessible regions by Divine Providence. None of Cambuscan's dominions 
lay south of this ridge, except Cabulstan, eastward of his piace of resi- 
dence, a newly acquired province, between which and Tartary the ridge 
is broken and much branched. Georgia, indeed, is intersected by several 
branches of Caucasus : but, as I take the liberty of using the oriental 
name of Caucasus, Kaf, in its oriental signification of the * general ridge 
itself,' independent of its branches, it may be said to lay between the 
dominions of Cambuscan and those of Aulum. Sarra was situated to the 
north of the ridge, near the present site of Astrachan, on a branch of the 


dew. J 


■ Much toil, much thought, the wond'rous Man em- 

* And the best aid from human science tried : 

* A prayer he said o'er every spring and screw ; 
e He bless'd each spark that from his anvil flew 
' And quench'd the glowing brass in consecrated 
' Nor slept he, but for ten revolving years 

f The sextile waited of three potent stars, 

' When their joint beams (in an auspicious hour) 

' Collected influence on one point should pour : 

* Then plac'd the Palfrey, where the starry ray 

' (Pregnant with charms) might o'er the fabric play: 
' And sigils, fram'd beneath a labouring moon, 
' Stamp'd on his front, ere yet the work was done. 
* This ample Mirror next my Sovereign sends ; 
' A kingdom's welfare on its use depends. 
''Two spells the place of quicksilver supply, 
€ And yield a double Focus to the eye. 
' Here, deep within the surface, may you see 
f Treason's first blush, and dark Conspiracy, 
' Ere yet her purpose to herself be clear; 
' And embryo murders, and imagined war. 
' Above, in larger portraiture display'd, 
' Her wrongs are open'd to th' abandon 'd maid : 
' Here shall she faithful love discern from art, 

* And trace the waverings of an alter'd heart ; 

f Here see to whom the Knight his hope transfers, 
€ And pays that homage which in truth is hers. 


( This mirror, so endued with virtues rare, 

' He dedicates to Canace the fair; 

' To Canace, the pride of Sarra's court, 

* Known to the wond'ring world by Fame's report. 
\ But sure 'tis idle at her feet to lay 

* What Magic fram'd Love's treasons to bewray : 
' Long on the glass those angel eyes shall pore 

c Ere the Charm tell them that their reign is o'er; 

* For whosoe'er this Princess chance to view, 

* May perish hopeless, but must perish true. 

' Her Aulum too (the fairest of the Fair) 
' Entreats this golden Ring to take and wear. 
' This hoop in herbs shall make its wearer wise, 
f And purge the dimness from her mortal eyes ; 
' By this the medicinal power is known 
' To ease the fest'ring flesh, or fractur'd bone, 
f And banish from the frame each varied ill 
' That Life in all its accidents can feel. 
( For, when you lightly rub th' enchanted gold, 
' Flow'rs, hid before, their forms to sight unfold ; 
' And on their leaves, in mystic characters, 
' Of which the knowledge this alone confers, 
e Is written, how the Leech that plant should use 
' To close the gash or dissipate the bruise. 
' Yet more ; through this, no bird shall utter sound 
' But she its meaning shall at once expound, 
f And in like language answer, if she hold 
{ Within her coral mouth this hoop of gold. 


' Then shall she know when Choirs of songsters raise 
' Their notes to Heav'n in unaffected praise ; 
' When Philomel attunes her evening hymn, 

* Or the loud sky-lark chaunts her matins trim : 
' Distinguish then amid the peopled grove, 

' The hum of care, the little arts of love ; 
' And, as her famish'd brood the Vulture leads, 
' Learn where the combat burns and where the war- 
rior bleeds. 
' The naked Sword, that in my belt is hung, 
f Now last shall exercise my weary tongue. 
( With twofold virtue was this Sabre made; 
x Keen are the point and edges ; flat the blade : 
' No armour can resist the piercing stroke, 
1 Though steel, and thicker than a writhed oak, 
f Whose summit bare with ragged horns appears, 
' The sport of thunder for a thousand years : 
' Nor ever may the power of med'eine heal 
' The flesh, that once its biting edge shall feel, 
' Till of this self-same sword the flatten'd side 
{ Be with slow friction to the wound appiy'd ; 
' Then will the gangrenes to the touch give way; 
' The gashes close, and ev'n the scars decay: 

* So potent is the sword to cure or kill, 

( So steep'd in double magic, good and ill. 

* Such then, Cambuscan ! are the presents giv'n 

* By Him, whose throne beholds the southern heav'n. 


e Such gifts he deems, from all his Empire's store, 
c More precious far than tons of glittering ore ; 
e Richer than all which Ophir's realms combine> 
e With the bright product of Golconda's mine. 

* Take them, Oh King ! and from thy royal heart 
c Return the friendship which my words impart : 

* In either sphere be War's red banner furl'd, 

' And one wide spreading Olive shade the world.'" 
He ceas'd ; applauses burst from all the host, 
But soon were hush'd in breathing whispers lost. 
As when the billows on the sea-beat shore 
Rush in, and whelm some cavern's sandy floor ; 
Through the broad space th' expiring waves divide 
With lessening murmurs, and in foam subside. 
At once Cambuscan said, e Sir Knight ! receive 
( The warmest welcome that a Prince can give : 
' I greet you for the royal gifts you bring ; 

* I greet you as the semblance of your King; 
6 1 greet you for yourself: a nobler Knight 

f Was never haiPd in Hall, or met in fight. 

f The power, the grandeur of your Monarch's throne, 

' Your words avouch, to me before unknown : 

( Since, 'twixt your mighty monarch's rule and me, 

c Kaf stands an everlasting boundary ; 

4 Kaf, on whose brow the Fays in squadrons bright } 

c Dwell bless'd ; while, in his caves, to central night > 

r Th' immutable decree has doom'd each rebel Sprite. ) 


* Great though his name, it seldom meets our ear: 

* Fame's voice grows weak ere she report it here; 
e And the proud trophies of his sculptur'd hall 

' We learn by piecemeal, if we learn at all. 
' For, as the clouds from yonder mountains height 
f Lour black at first, and all the plains affright, 
' But sailing o'er the globe, by motion wear, 

* Fade by degrees, and melt at last in air ; 

' So Fame, though thundering o'er the nations round, 

' Speaks less and less distinct till space devour the sound. 

( But be it as it may ; we thank your Lord 

f For gifts, surpassing what our realms afford : 

( We have no Glass, the thoughts of Men to prove; 

' Our crown's sole safeguard is our People's love : 

* Nor, should I rise in anger, can I cure 

* The hurts my foes must from this steel endure. 
' But what we can we will: Cathaia pours 

1 To me her silks ; their Gem the Baltic shores : f 
' And with perpetual charms Circassia teems, 

* More bright than diamonds or Aurora's beams. 

f Of these to share with me your King shall deign, 
c And taste the riches of my northern reign. 

* Meantime, Sir Knight! approach, an honour'd guest: 
( Partake the pleasures of our Tartar feast : 

' Then late refresh'd, the memory of your toil 
' Steep in soft slumbers till the morning smile.' 

f lo me, &c] Amber is the Baltic Gem. 

This said, the Knight retir'd : without the gate 
Dismounting, to a room of costly state, 
Grave Ushers led him ; his bright arms unlac'd, 
And o'er his limbs a robe of honour cast. 
Then to the royal board, in due array 
A band of Tartar Nobles led the way, 
And right against the King the Stranger set, 
And serv'd with racy wine and strengthening meat. 
The mirror and the ring the Seneschal 
To Canace presented, in the hall : 
And to three Priests (the delegates of heav'n) 
The Sabre in especial charge was giv'n. 
Holding the Sword they stood in solemn guise ; 
Till from the festive board the King should rise : 
For This Cambuscan's mighty power ordain'd, 
Should in the sepulchre of Ginghis stand, 
Where all the treasures of the Empire shone, 
And none might enter save the king alone. 

The Horse was left without ; the solar rays 
Reflected, all the metal seem'd to blaze. 
But on the pavement motionless it stood : 
Bootless their force the sturdy Yeomen bow'd. 
Bootless to lift it up with pulleys tried, 
And levers underneath the chest applied. 
Stedfast the frame remain'd, where late the Knight 
(His audience o'er) had halted to alight, 
Like a primaeval rock, whose roots have birth 
In the firm centre of the solid earth : 


As if the brass deriv'd from him that rode 
The powers of life that in its action glow'd. 

Great was the press from every part that came,, 
To vent their wonder on the brazen frame : 
So well proportion^ in its height and length, 
So finish'd, so compact for speed and strength 
The model seem'd to all, there might not be 
A Courser more complete in Tartary : 
Nor e'er could art this perfect piece exceed^ 
Or Nature match the artificial Steed. 
But their most wonder was, that brass could move 
Along the Earth, or in the Air above? 
All said the like was never seen before : 
Some, that it sprung from chance ; a few, it wore 
The traces of a philosophic hand : 
And others thought it came from Fairy land. 
Loud grew their hum, as of unnumber'd bees 
That urge their toil around the dewy trees, 
While each the question argued; each express'd 
At once his thoughts, nor listened to the rest. 
Some, who had read of wonders wrought of yore, 
With pride unbosom'd all their treasur'd lore; 
And spake of Pegasus, the Muses' joy, 
And Sinon's wooden Horse, the bane of Troy. 
Some, who with penetrating eyes could scan 
(At least they thought so) all the wiles of Man, 
To augur mischief from the gift began— 



And said, an armed Host was sure within, 
Which in the dead of night the town would win: 
And others thought the whole was_ but a sleight, 
A visionary fabric; and the Knight 
Some juggler, us'd with subtleties to wait, 
For hire, at the carousals of the great. 
Thus reason'd they ; and thus essay'd to bend 
What their sense reach'd not, to a meaner end : 
And such is Man : whene'er the human mind 
To the first rise or scope of things is blind, 
The worst conclusions from events it draws, 
And all refers to some suspicious cause. 

Some of the Mirror talk'd, contriv'd with art 
To bare the secret workings of the heart. 
Some thought it fashioned by celestial aid ; 
Others, that by Catoptrics it was made : 
These said that once imperial Rome possess'd 
A glass like this, that hidden thoughts express'd ; 
And shew'd that, in his time, Alhazen^ knew 
(And Aristotle and Vitellion too) 
The rules by which the rays on glasses act; 
And wherefore some reflect and some refract. 

Apart from these the scientific knot, 
Whose deep attention the flat Sabre caught, 
On accidents of old in converse fell, 
And gravely cited cases parallel : 

g Chaucer seems to have had very indistinct notions of Optics : Vitel- 
lion and Alhazen wrote on perspective. 



Of Telephtis and of Achilles spoke ; h 
And of the process whence the metal took 
Its temper, and its power to save or kill, 
From simples mix'd in fusion with the steeL 

But the enchanted Ring they all agreed, 
Not one among the presents might exceed; 
Yet some there were who e'en of this made light: 
That still is strange, whose cause is out of sight, 
They laughing said : a glass you well discern, 
But cannot trace it to the roots of fern : 
Nor when reduc'd to ash those roots you see, 
Would think that they should e'er transparent be. — 
Nay, still ye guess not whence the thunders rise 
That daily burst and roar along the skies : 
Ye see the Gossamer in air that sails ; 
The mist that broods upon the fertile vales ; 
Ye witness Neptune with rapacious hand 
Usurp and quit again the barren strand, 
Twice, while this Globe of earth but once revolves ; 
Yet none of what he sees the reason solves: 
Then why such wonder here ? Th' effect is plain ; 
The cause, like others, ye explore in vain. 

But Phoebus now from his meridian height 
Was driving to the west the car of light, 

h Of Telephus, &c] Telephus opposed the progress of the Greeks 
through his dominions in their way to Troy, and was wounded by Achil- 
lea with his spear. Ovid says he would have died, if Achilles had not 
effected his cure by applying the same spear to the wound. Pliny reasons 
on this transaction. 



When, as his ancient custom was, the King 

Bad wide the portals of the chamber fling, 

And rose a tower of God-like majesty. 

At once, from eveiy board, of each degree 

Up sprung the guests ; and still awhile they stood 

Attentive till the cornets, rattling loud, 

Each to his place should warn the various crowd. 

Then all were marshall'd by the rank they bore 

In splendid files: the Minstrels went before; 

And as their warlike symphony they play'd, 

The troops each cadence in their march obey'd. 

First to the royal monument they sped, 

Where ever-burning incense grac'd the dead : 

In a wide court it stood ; where never sound 

Was heard, save echoes of the Conch profound, 

By self secluded men (who dwell for aye 

In vaults below, nor taste the light of day), 

In solemn alternation slowly blown, 

That the same mournful note prolong'd the sullen tone 

Here stood the building: 1 its enormous height 

Caught the first glances of the morning light. 

1 Here stood, &c] In this description, and in what follows in the 
sixth book concerning the tomb of Ginghiscan, the reader will perceive 
that I have borne in mind the account of the Mausoleum of the Lama in 
Mr. Turner's account of Thibet. I have not adhered wholly to that 
model, eonceiving that it would be impossible to convey by words alone 
a distinct idea of the complex parts of that building which Mr. Turner 
has made familiar to us by his excellent plate. The Red Dragon of the 
Chinese Empire may be supposed to have been originally the crest of 


Of copper was the roof; and round its rim 
Four snaky volumes cast a fiery gleam, 
And up the angles to the summit roll'd, 
Met in a monstrous shape, of dragon mould, 
Which, once distinguish'd as Ginghiscan's crest. 
Now with its crimson scales his tomb comprest. 
Full often in the court, in crowds before 
The portal, holy men would Heav'n adore ; 
But Mortal ne'er beyond the threshold past, 
Save He, whose hand the Tartar sceptre grac'd 
Without the walls the long procession staid ; 
And, kneeling on the earth, with fervor pray'd 
While still the dismal knell rung hollow for the 


Cambuscan from the priests with solemn look, 
The sword, amidst a general silence, took, 
And past within the dome : meantime the guard 
The chill of lengthen'd expectation shar'd ; 
Still gazing on the door, in mute array, 
And counting every moment of his stay. 
And Oh ! how their unfolding looks betray'd 
The gathering sound of his returning tread ! 
Till once again the golden hinges roll'd ; 
And once again they might their Lord behold : 

Ginghiz, as the present dynasty in China is Tartarian. The subterranean 
employment here given to certain priests, I must take upon my own 
shoulders: but it is not much more irksome than many duties, which, 
Mr. Turner says, the Gylongs actually practise. 



Then (by a tenfold bolt the portal clos'd) 
The order of their march the Seneschal dispos'd. 
Moving in solemn shew, against their way 
(Rais'd for the purpose) a Pavilion lay : 
A choir of Dames was rang'd within the'Jiall ; 
And other Minstrels, cloath'd in richest pall, 
Breath'd such delicious music through the air 
From flutes melodious, that 'twas heav'n to hear. 
And straight a merry peal the citterns rung, 
To summon to the dance the fair and young. 
Cambuscan, from a silver throne, beheld 
The quaint manoeuvres of that gallant field ; 
And wilFd, in honour of the Knight, that he 
Should dance the round with sprightly Canace. 
The Stranger, in the polish'd arts imbued 
That mark illustrious peers from chieftains rude, 
And tempering still with deference what he said, 
Won smiles of favour from the royal Maid : 
That oft she thought, if worth like this adorn 
A subject, what are they from Aulum born ? 

They, on whose birth the star of Venus shed 
Its radiance, ever best the measure tread ; 
And now that star an influence deign'd to fling 
That freshen'd ev'ry grace, and added to their spring. 
What figures did each pair with nimble feet 
Describe! though sever'd oft, again to meet: 
What precious moments might each youtli command 
To breathe a vow or press a willing hand ! 


There was the blush that cannot praise endure, 

The smile just stealing o'er the lip demure, 

The mincing coyness and the downcast eye, 

Where close in ambush amorous glances lie, 

Till the sour husband from his watch retire, 

Or to repose withdraw the wearied sire. 

Her daughter fondly then each mother ey'd 

And felt the warmth of pardonable pride ; 

She thought all saw with her too partial eyes, 

And hop'd the rich would combat for the prize — 

( How sweet the smiles that sport upon her lips ! 

' How Cambal gazes as along she trips ! 

f Sure those are living, who the times have seen, 

' When charms less winning have preferr'd a Queen.' 

None in this dance before his equals prest : 
To revels Ceremony gives a zest. 
Thus, if some practis'd hand a landscape trace, 
Where all the features have their proper grace, 
Meads, swells, and alps, in due gradation join, 
And altering tints the distances define ; 
And ev'ry part, by Nature's prime controul, 
Keeps its due rank to harmonize the whole. 
So in the royal presence none might err, 
Or with another's station interfere : 
Its proper rank was mark'd for every class ; 
And none their peers in splendour might surpass : 
Of equal water jewels weie assign'd 
To each., and none had different gems combined: 


Each saw the next above outshine his own, 

Till the bright scale of lustre reach'd the throne. 

As radiant stars, with each their share of light, 

Blaze, more or less, but all adorn the night; 

So in this order'd hall the plainest there 

Was plac'd, where plainness aptly might appear : 

In unison the whole before you lay; 

Nor was there aught your judgment wish'd away: 

All parts exactly fitted for the whole, 

And that a perfect sight to charm the soul. 

In midst of all, a master Chamberlain 

Held o'er the general feast a guiding rein : 

And deeply skill'd in festive works was he 

Whose brain devis'd such various revelry ; 

Where all was ready, ev'ry sport combin'd, 

To sooth the sense or captivate the mind. 

The careful grooms, in golden ew'rs, brought down 

Store of rich wine to this Pavilion ; , 

And added spiceries (nutritious fare) 

Th' exhausted strength and spirits to repair; 

And rich confection serv'd, and cooling fruit, 

The thirst of each, and appetite to suit : 

And still the merry pipe so briskly blew; 

The tabor sounded, and the Dancers flew; 

That all was frolic with the light and strong, 

And Age itself look'd wistful on the throng. 

To Youth so charming is the sprightly dance 
That time, the while, seems never to advance ; 


And those the rising Sun has often seen 
Dance the same measure on the shaven green, 
Which, ere he slumber'd in the west, began ; 
Heedless of his return, that marks the span 
Of days —of life — for life is lapse of years — 
Heedless of all Man seeks, of all he fears. 
Nor would this revel (which Cambuscan's care 
Had thrown betwixt the feast and hour of prayer 
A transient interlude to please the fair), 
Have ceas'd, while twilight had one ray in store 
To wake a sparkle from the Gems they wore ; 
But he, the quaint comptroller of the band, 
Rais'd, at th' appointed hour, his ivory wand. 
At once the pipe was dumb; the sport was o'er; 
And listless stood the dancers on the floor, 
With trembling limbs and with disorder'd dress, 
And locks unbound in many a flowing tress. 
Thus when some potent spell the sky deforms, 
And from their deep abysses calls the storms, 
With a wide sweep the forceful blast descends, 
And all the forest to its impulse bends : — 
This way and that the groaning branches strain ; 
Now stoop, and now elastic spring again; 
Till he, who summon'd forth the stormy gloom, 
Drive with his thrilling voice the Tempest home. 
Instant the winds obey the magic will ; 
Instant the quivering trees are hush'd and still, 



But ruffled with the blast, despoil'd, and rude, 
And with light foliage half the plains are strew'd. 

But anxious to renew the sacred rite, 
And pour a nation's pray'r ere close of night, 
Cambuscan bad the long procession speed, 
(Himself the first) and to the fane proceed. 
Within the mighty dome, with sober pace, 
He march'd ; the ranks unfolding fill'd the space. 
The walls, where clefts aloft let in the light, 
In broad projections mark'd the path of night; 
And the last radiance of expiring day 
Just trembled on the frieze, and died away. 
Loud to the throne of Heav'n they raised the song ; 
Responsive music through the temple rung ; 
Conchs, cymbals, trumpets, shriller flutes of bone, 
And brass sonorous, filFd the choral tone. 
Of him they sung, k who far from mortal view, 
High on thy golden summit, Soomeroo ! 
O'er infinite extent his eye-ball rolls, 
And worlds in discord with a glance controuls: 
Who, for the general welfare, now creates ; 
Now, as his wisdom wills, annihilates : 
Of him, whose pity to mankind infolds 
Th' ethereal essence in successive moulds; 

k Of him, &c] The instruments are such as are described as used 
by the Gylongs in Mr. Turner's book. Soomeroo is an imaginary moun- 
tain, on which the Thibetians suppose the chief of all the deities to re- 


And, as decays one Lama's earthly form, l 
Gives the same spirit some new frame to warm: 
Of him they sung, from whom the genial sun 
Learns, for the weal of man, his course to run ; 
Whose voice the slumbering seed in April hears, 
And its green promise to the surface rears ; 
By whom the dreadful arm of war is strung; 
Who gilds the old with hope, with smiles the young; 
By whom th' imperial rod Cambuscan bears, 
And in his mighty mind entombs a nation's cares. 

The rite concluded, to the royal dome 
With torches blazing to dispel the gloom, 
In self appointed bands they took their way 
To end in joy the revels of the day. 
From the rich roof a thousand tapers hung, 
That o'er the hall a mimic daylight flung: 
The tables were adorn'd with quaint device ; 
The courses light, but dainties all of price ; 
And they who serv'd were tripping pages, dress'd 
In antic shapes, as at a fairy feast. 
Soft breathing melodies, from choirs unseen, 
Swell'd in the breeze, with rural songs between ; 
While burnish'd fountains, as the master wilPd, 
Their streams nectareous in the bowls distnTd : 

1 And as, &c] Alluding to the regeneration of the Lama: as soon 
as the sovereign Lama is dead his spirit passes into the body of a 
new-born infant, and at a very early period of its new existence is sup- 
posed to disclose itself to the higher priests by certain signs to them, 


And all the joys that mortal sense can taste, 

When Mirth with Splendour weds, were here embrac'd. 

The Nurse of pure digestion, balmy Sleep, 
Now o'er the brows of all began to creep, 
And whispering, that e'en Bliss had need of rest, 
On their dull eyes his leaden lips imprest. 
Nor pomp shook off the God, nor jovial wine; 
His poppies overtopp'd the drooping Vine : 
All felt by slow degress their fire decay; 
All late retired ; Cambuscan led the way. 
Cares, Hopes, and Joys, in one repose were drown'(j : 
And universal stillness brooded round. 


But anxious cares the strangers mind assail'd, 
By passions tost, which art in public veil'd : 
Schemes, doubts and hopes, and fears before him roll'd 
Reflexion shook his heart, by nature bold. 
Acban his name : to him in Gphir's realm 
Great Aulum had consign'd his Empire's helm ; 
And skill'd he was so dear a charge to bear, 
The first in council and the first in war. 

Ambition was his God: from nothing grown 
So vast, his bulk seem'd equal to a throne : 
But, prudent, still he wrought by slow degrees : 
To rule aspiring, 'twas his aim to please. 
His lowliness was but a mask for pride ; 
His loyalty to treason near allied ; 
And howsoe'er he acted, look'd, or said, 
All to the sceptre of his wishes led. 
For this, the favour of his King he sought; 
Fathom'd the close recesses of his thought, 
And ev'ry wish ere yet 'twas ripen'd caught : 


And when he found the splendour of his crown,, 
A frontier widening, and increas'd renown, 
Were e'er predominant in Aulum's breast, 
(Sport of his chase and revel of his feast) 
Still creeping into each discourse he held, 
(All other subjects to that point compelFd) 
The flame by crafty soothing Acban fann'd ; 
New spoils imagin'd, new invasions plann'd ; 
And, though strict justice ne'er his claims allow'd, 
Whate'ev they were, his valour made them good : 
Conscious that flattery, cloath'd in flattering deeds, 
The softest unction of the tongue exceeds. 
Still he would picture war, eternal war, 
As the sole scope and end of royal care : 
He whose great mind can marshal, he would say, 
His host to conquest, in a well fought day, 
The moth-worn slaves at home, as pastime rules ; 
Peace-lovers, if they reign, must govern fools. 

By this a threefold end his craft attain'd ; 
All who his glozing swallow'd, soon disdain'd 
The Empire's heir; for he, howe'er his mind 
Teem'd with all virtues that adorn mankind, 
Saw not with Aulum's widely ranging eyes, 
Nor his realms welfare measur'd by its size. 
Next Aulum, us'd from day to day to hear 
In Acban's voice the note of trophies near, 
Still more and more to War and Conquest won, 
Admir'd his fav'rite, and despis'd his son. 



Last, the rough soldiers (for this Leader knew 
Ev'n in his strict command to flatter too). 
Him, who to spoil the greedy squadrons led, 
Him, who the sick reliev'd, the needy fed, 
With universal voice to power would raise : 
Acban was all the idol of their praise : 
Acban, the soldier's friend, by all was known ; 
Acban protects, and should enjoy the throne 
When Aulum's virtues with his breath are gone 

Restless he lay: for sleep is not the prize 
Of strength, or bought with gold that all things buys 
His conscience was to him the magic glass, 
And made in sad review his treacheries pass 
Through his dark mind: abus'd his monarch's ear; 
Foul plots against the kingdom's royal heir; 
And ev'n this embassy betray'd and lost, 
Though by himself advis'd, and back'd by Aulum's host 
For other words was Acban taught to speak ; 
Submission, not alliance, sent to seek. 
Fix'd on one object, his delusive tongue 
Long on Cambuscan's wealth and power had hung, 
And fed rapacious Aulum's eager mind 
AVith hopes of spoil and fame, to justice blind. 
For this (the troops prepar'd) was Acban sent 
In embassy, to veil their black intent, 
To claim the realms old Cabul's walls around, 
(Then of the Tartar sway the southern bound,) 


Which, when the hordes that held them southward 

Cambuscan in his ample rule embrac'd : 
To claim, with specious plea, this fertile space, 
As wrested from the migratory race, 
Which late to Aulum's power had homage paid, 
And at his feet their wide possessions laid. 
But Acban, by a foul Enchanter fraught 
With the rich presents for that purpose wrought, 
Conceal'd, beneath the semblance of advice, 
Dark and broad schemes himself to aggrandize. 
For, should the Tartar yield Cabulstan's throne, 
He meant to claim that honour as his own, 
The meed of high desert and service done : 
And should Cambuscan frown on Aulum's claim, 
War might afford his hopes a larger aim ; 
Since, on the brazen Horse, he thought to raise 
Such trophies, and so deep to plant his praise, 
That Aulum's squadrons, urg'd by headlong zeal, 
The bond of loyalty should cease to feel, 
Hurl from his height their sovereign's peaceful son, 
And Acban's wishes glut with Ophir's splendid crown. 
Such were his views, when, on the charmed frame, 
In an ill hour to Sana's court he came ; 
But the King's greatness and his daughter's eye 
Had chang'd at once th' intended Embassy : 
For scarce the one had borne a threat of arms ; 
And his heart felt the other's matchless charms. 


He thought a servile soul could never lie 
Beneath such features, flame from such an eye 
As shone on Sarra's throne : unlike to yield, 
This King seem'd more unlike to be compell'd ; 
For such a band of peers was marshall'd round, 
Such terrors in each Warrior's visage frown'd, 
Such arms he saw, such steeds, such just array, 
As promis'd all the world an easy prey. 
Ev'n in Cambuscan's mien, his skill could see 
The certain end of rash hostility : 
Like Kaf he stood ; all dreadful, when the storm 
Shoots fiery bolts athwart his gloomy form ; 
Yet mild in sunshine from the northern gale, 
Shielding the riches of the subject vale, 
And, from the polish of his marble brow, 
Reflecting Heav'n's own rays on all below. 

But if such thoughts to move him might conspire, 
He felt no less the impulse of desire; 
And when the Tartar princess met his eyes, 
At once he mark'd her beauties as his prize. 
Oh, mind of Man ! when Beauty spreads her snare, 
How poor thy strength ! how impotent thy care ! 
As the vast Dolphins all their power resign, 
And, hook'd, obey the weakest, slightest line ; 
So at the beck of beauty wisdom lies, 
And schemes are chang'd as roll a woman's eyes. 
Then did his fraudful mind a tale compose 
To win Cambuscan with insidious gloze : 


Dropp'd all the menace, all the tone of War, 
And pour'd persuasive soothings in his ear; 
That hospitable rites might yield him space 
To build his mischiefs on a larger base. 

The chamber where he lay was wide and high ; 
Its front oppos'd against the southern sky ; ■ 
And Cynthia, through the windows gleaming bright, 
Shed on the walls and floor a silver light. 
At once, as if Eclipse the solar beam 
Had quench'd, and left the Moon forlorn and dim, 
The lustre fail'd : a red and swarthy gloom, 
But pervious to the eye, o'erspread the room ; 
And just where Slumber oft, with ebon wand, 
Hums in the drowsy ear his murmur bland, 
A figure indistinct was seen to stand. 
Aged and scarcely human was its look; 
Its eyes, like flame seen flashing through a smoke : 
And thus, with hollow tone, abrupt it spoke: 
( 111 may'st thou rest, Oh Acban ! ill deserves 
' The man, who from a fraud concerted swerves. 
' Trod'st thou upon the mountains of the Moon, a 
( The first uncharmed step, to ask a boon 
' Surpassing all below and all above, 
1 And dar'st thou prostitute that boon on love ? 

a Trod'st thou, &c] The mountains of the Moon, called by the Arabs 
El Komri, are in the heart of Africa, south west of Abyssinia, and north 
of Sofala, or Ophir. They have nevef been reached by any known tra- 
veller. The oriental mythology the Dom Daniel, or metropolis of 
the evil spirits, in a high mountain in Africa. 



' Did I construct so deep, so strong a spell, 

* As binds my soul more horribly to hell, 

' To frame rare presents for Cambuscan's court, 
' The gaze of fools and thoughtless women's sport 
' Had I not thought thy treachery firm and broad, 
c And thee a fit artificer of fraud, 
f No aid from me, light Man ! had e'er been thine, 
' Who, frail of purpose, mar'st thy own design. — 

* Man, unenlighten'd Man, may win a Dame — 
' I stoop not to assist so poor an aim/ 

* Spare,' Acban quick replied, f Dyr-Zoro ! spare 
{ Thy keen reproof: our scheme is yet my care. — 

* True, I have wish'd to make this Dame my prize j 
f Fir'd by the sparkles of her radiant eyes : 

' True, I have giv'n the Horse, no terms propos'd; — 

< But think not all my purpose is disclos'd. 

f Cambuscan has the Steed: the magic sword 

' Is plac'd with reverence in his sacred hoard : 

' The Glass, the Ring are Canace's ; but how 

( Can they their virtues try till we allow ? 

' Cambuscan has the Steed : the secret skill 

c To raise, depress, to stop him, and to wheel, 

c He has not: and till these be fully known, 

( The Horse is worth the metals weight alone. 

c The other gifts contain a certain charm; 

e But thy controlling science can disarm 

f Their power, if e'er to us they threaten harm 



r If ever they who wield them should evade 

( The complicated snares by Acban laid. 

( Know then, I gave them, with the poppied balm 

' Of confidence, suspicion's mind to calm, 

e And lull the wakeful eyes of policy, 

' That none, however wise, my deeds might see. 

' Whilst I (at whom the Tartar nobles stare 

f As one with whom a Steed that moves in air, 

e A magic sword, a magic Glass and Ring, 

' Are valued but as presents for a King), 

* Dive into ev'ry bosom, separate 

e The few (if such there be) whose minds are great, 
' From the base crowd, who flock where'er they find 
' Power, with a will to feed their vice, combin'd. 
( These may I mould and fashion to my will, 
e Where'er their interest calls they follow still, 
' By natural disposition fram'd for ill/ 

' But wherefore this ? ' the sage Dyr-Zoro said, 
( To what success will all thy plottings lead ? 
' Not all the mastery of the powerful spell, 
' Not all the cunning e'er devis'd in Hell, 
e Can shake Cambuscan on his righteous throne : 
( His cause, for he is just, heav'n makes its own. 

e Those fabrics from my secret science sprung 
c Tell to that science (but with soundless tongue) 
' Whatever chance befall them : whence I learn'd 

* Thy bounty, no equivalent return'd. 


f Thus much my charms inform ; but in a mind 

( Involv'd with many a fold of art refin'd, 

' Where fraud seems truth, and truth (to me who know 

' Thy nature) seems from artifice to flow, 

' In a wide maze of falsehood, such as thine, 

' Not Magic's self can guess at thy design. 

f Thou cam'st of War or Peace to yield the choice 

' To Tartary; thyself did'st give th' advice: 

' And whether War or Peace the King might choose, 

' Twas sure to favour thy ambitious views. 

' But now, the presents giv'n, the claims must cease; 

' And Acban lose his hopes in idle peace.' 

' If I did counsel Aulum, mighty sage ! ' 
The Warrior cried, c to brave Cambuscan's rage; 
c No benefit to him my counsel meant: 
' His pride a colour to my purpose lent. 
' Th' intention of my mind when, arm'd by thee 
c With charms of unexampled mastery, 
' I reach'd the Tartar court, thy wisdom knows : 
( From prudence, not from chance, the change arose. 
' To plan is easy ; but experience grave, 
' Plans to occasion suits, to none a slave: 
f And sure 'twere less to gain a petty crown, 
1 Than make this Dame and Ophir's realm my own. 
f Tis ineffectual here to work by force ; 
c I trust not, 'gainst this King, thy Brazen Horse : 
( And Ophir's troops, should Ophir send her bands 
' To wrest his sceptre from Cambuscan's hands, 

m : 

* Though high in pride, and us'd to victory, 

* Scar'd at his casual glance in shameful rout would fly. 

< No — Fraud must guide our steps : fair Canace, 

* Cambuscan, too secure, shall trust to me; 

* And, ere the Moon twice change, the steed shall bear 

* To Komri's distant cave the panting Fair; 
' Where, safe within the circle of thy spell, 

6 Far from the ken of Rumour she shall dwell, 
' Till nought too costly for her ransom seem, 
e And Acban gain his wish, a Diadem. 
' For when her charms are mine, I will repair 
c To Aulum, and with falsehoods taint his ear, 
' That he shall think despis'd his embassy, 

* And rush upon his fate, led on by me. 

6 Quick from the Caverns, ambush'd where they lie, 

' His squadrons shall the Tartar king defy,, 

' And they, whom here my former glozing won, 

f Shall raise their standard 'gainst Cambuscan's crown : 

< Then to th' astonish'd king shall Acban send 

' Promise of quick relief, and seem a friend; 

' Shall plight his troth fierce Aulum to betray, 

r And all th' intestine treachery display : 

i Aid on th' enchanted Horse Cambuscan's power; 

' And yet uninjur'd Canace restore ; 

*■ So Acban, as her lord, the king will own, 

* And his claims strengthen to th' Ophirian throne. 

* And he will own me: reasons strong will join 
( With him, to make those glorious objects mine: 



' For to his virtuous mind will ne'er be known 
f That Aulum by my treason lost his crown, 
e And in the Tartar Court conspiracy was sown. 
e To him my crimes will shew as errors light; 
' Stol'n marriage, sanction'd by no sacred rite — 
f Revolt — and Magic— but all born of Love — 
' And what his daughter caus'd he must approve/ 

€ Oh! form'd to rule — in whose unfathom'd breast' 
(Dyr-Zoro said) c such deep resources rest; 
f Whose various fraud, whate'er events befal, 
c Its form can change, and harmonize with all — 
' If ever mortal from the powers below 
' Deserv'd their aid, to crown a vassal brow; 
' If ever wickedness, unsoil'd by good, 
c Fill'd the whole mind of one of human brood, 
c (For we, the builders of the powerful spell, 
g Owe half our being to the sons of hell,) 
' Acban! 'tis thine: whatever human fraud, 
' Vers'd in all arts, by no compunction aw'd, 
( And aided by infernal arts, can win, 
e Count as thy own, thou masterpiece of Sin ? 
' Much can my skill effect : but to foretel 
( The course of unborn things, exceeds my spell : 
' All that the march of Time has yet reveal'd, 
' All that now is, howe'er in mystery veil'd, 
' All that his forward path will bring to pass, 
( Is grav'd by nameless hands on leaves of brass. 


' Quick as Time moves, Fate turns the leaf as fast, 
' And Magic learns the present and the past: 

* But ne'er was fram'd a spell, so vast in pow'r, 
' To lift one leaf, unturn'd by Fate before. 

* Let us then to the present hour confine 

' Our schemes, to further thy supreme design.— 
' Cast not a wish beyond : the truly bold 
' The future seeks not, and contemns, foretold. 
( What passions in Cambuscan's court prevail, 
' Where thy deep craft may work, and where may 

* My science now shall to thy ear impart, 

\ And aid (if aid it need) thy matchless art. 

c No vices lurk, no envy, pride or spleen, 
f In Canace, Cambuscan, or his queen. 
' In the same path the noble Algarsife 
( Preserves the spotless progress of his life : 
' And, if a subject murmur at the throne, 
c The fault is not the monarch's, but his own: 
( As in the pure expanse, the planets bright 
1 Move in just measure, with unfading light; 
' And should some cloud obscure the glittering beam, 
( From earth the vapour rises, not from them. 
' But Cambalo capricious fancies move ; 
f By flattery somewhat bias'd, more by love. 
( His roving eyes a fickle heart evince ; 
' But short attentions please, when from a prince: 


' And though but few his opening years have been/ 
f Those years a dame betray'd and him forsworn have 

{ seen, 
c Him thou may'st sap: but lest thy touch profane 
( Wake his inherent worth to just disdain, 
c Win Erbol first — : cold disappointment lours 
f On ErboFs sanguine youth, and stamps him ours. 
c Bred with the royal sons, and early great, 
' His expectation grasps an higher state : — 
( 'Tis Can ace he seeks : — but pomp and pride 
c And grandeur, are his objects, not the bride. 
' Brave, rash, ambitious, profligate and vain, 
' He'd dare the worst, a monarch's love to gain : 
' Shew but the tinsel glare of wealth and fame, 
' And Erbol will resign the royal Dame, 
c Advance thy plans, Cambuscan undermine, 
( And sooth his hate in aiding thy design. 
' For, ever prompt in vicious joys to lead, 
( And o'er young Cambal's mind the canker spread, 
1 The prince and king to him their grace deny, 
' And dim with frowns the lustre of his eye : 
' Whence fell Revenge (for Wickedness o'erturn'd 
e More indignation feels than Merit spurn'd,) 
c Inflames each passion, warps each faculty, 
c And gives him, unreserv'd, a tool to thee. 
' This Man, though both in craft and war unskill'd, 
( Assistance, ev'n to Acban's arm, may yield : 


* Erbol can boast of valour, wealth, and friends 

< Whose manners correspond with crooked ends; 
' For nought but Vice on powerful Vice depends : 
( And Etha (plac'd by Erbol's early care) 
6 His sister, waits on Canace the fair : 
' Plac'd, to win Canace for Erbol's wife, 
' Or dazzle with her beauties Algarsife ; 
c Fit sister for such brother: she shall blind 
' (For it is keen and shrewd) her lady's mind: 
' Thy pictur'd virtues, not thy love, disclose ; 
f And cheat her ears to listen to thy gloze. 
' Till Confidence her shield from Wisdom steal, 
' And Acban's many-channel'd frauds prevail. 

' Thy master-hand shall touch another spring : 
( Wolodimir, Muscovia's humbled king, 
( (Bow'd by Combuscan's arm) each rolling year 
( His tribute to this court is doom'd to bear; 
e And, while these revels last, in Sarra stay 
( To grace his potent conqueror's natal day. 
f Nor he alone ; but with her sire must come 
' Proud Theodora, now in beauty's bloom: 
' So wide her charms enraptur'd hearts inspire, 
' That scarce the Princess kindles fiercer fire: 

* But none so struck as noble Algarsife, 

' Who to the Dame devotes his crown and life. 
( Nor lightly does he love : though nurs'd in war, 
' Perchance she may her port too roughly bear; 


e Yet that superior mind this Princess decks, 

* That sometimes lifts a Dame above her sex. 

* The qualities of Algarsife might move 

' Her heart, and almost win her to his love, 

( But bred to think that martial fame alone 

' Exalts mankind and dignifies a throne, 

f She fain would scorn a youth, whose maiden spear 

' No trophies, but at Tourneys, boasts to bear: 

* And yet again, in patriot anger, vows 

' No Tartar Prince shall boast his vassal as his spouse. 
( What need I shew to thee, what aids arise 
' From these Muscovian jars and jealousies? 
f The King, for he who once has tasted sway, 
4 Subdued, can never from his heart obey, 
' Will clip thee in his arms, and give thee all 
( His pow'r can raise, to work Cambuscan's fall : 
' For his deep thoughts are bent on Russia's crown ; 
( And he disdains the Tartar as a son. 

' But let me speed away — my tardy flight 

* Must hang upon the doubtful rear of Night : 
( And should a charmer of the shades beneath 
' Linger, till on the world Aurora breathe, 

' In upper air; his power must sink opprest 

' If question'd by the Genie's ever blest. — 

' Such was our doom of yore : it fits that I 

c Catch the last gloom that gives me safe to fly, 

' And hurry from the fearful glimpse of Morn— 

' Be bold! may Aulum's crown thy brows adorn.' 


He said : the spacious room at once was clear. — 
Envelop'd in his dismal Atmosphere 
He, as he flew, might seem to waking eyes 
A globe of smother'd fire, that cross'd the skies : 
Or as the Moon eclips'd ; if through the air 
She shot, as rapid as a falling Star. 
Just at that time it chanc'd a Genie came 
From Sinai's 5 top; Maimoune was her name; 

b From Sinai's, &c] In arranging the design of this poem, one of 
the objects of attention, though not perhaps the most important, was the 
appropriating of names to the different characters. As it was necessary 
to oppose supernatural aid to that magic with whichChaucer had furnished 
his Stranger Knight, the introduction of machines became not merely 
matter of ornament ; and in naming these, I was left very much to fancy. 
With respect to that of the Genie, I took it from the story of Camaralza- 
man, in the Arabian Nights Entertainments ; from whence also the idea 
of her meeting an evil Spirit in the air was borrowed: and I was the more 
led to adopt the name, because I learnt, from Mr. Turner's account of his 
Embassy to Thibet, that Mahamoonie, in Sanscrit, signifies Great Saint y 
and is the denomination of the principal Idol in that country. In the 
first draft of this poem the appearance of Maimoune was thus de* 

Light, as the filmy down of Gossamer, 

With folded arms she floated on the air : 

Behind her length of tresses loosely spread, 

In a bright lambent train her path display'd : 

Like lights that, glimmering o'er the northern snow, 

Wave in broad streams and tremble as they glow. 

During the course of last summer, in an old Number of a Review, which 
had never fallen in my way before, I found a criticism on Mr. Southey's 
Thalaba, a poem which I had not been so fortunate as to see: and the 


Hast'ning to perch upon thy cliffs, Cathay, 
And with sweet carols hail the renovating day. 
Light, as the filmy down of Gossamer, 
With folded arms she floated on the air: 
Behind, her length of tresses loosely spread, 
In a resplendent train her course display'd ; 
Like the bright path which Barks at midnight leave 
When Phosphor dances on the parted wave. 
Swift as she pass'd, her clear perception found 
Some sprite malign was near, of nether ground— 
( Stay— whatsoe'er thou art! this sacred time 
< 111 suits,' she said, f for Hell aloft to climb — 

* Stay — thou that in the expanse of air serene 

c Shew'st to the eye of Morn the dusky torch of Sin !' 

* 'Tis false !' the Sorcerer cried : c the cope of night 

' Yet from thy question shrowds my homeward flight/ 

reader may judge of my surprize, when I not only found that Mr. Southey 
had also made use of this name Maimoune, but had applied to the de- 
scription of her this very idea, by way of simile, in the following 

Her white hair flowing like the silver streams 
That streak the northern sky.— . — 

I immediately altered my own verses : but I cannot help mentioning the 
circumstance, as it shews how very unjustly we may be accused of steal- 
ing the thoughts of contemporary authors. I have not thought it neces- 
sary to change the name, because that I had originally taken from a book 
well known : and had 1 not done so, the plagiarism would not have been 
of great importance. 



* Turn Spirit! to the East thy sullen eyes/ 

Maimoune said, ( and in the whitening skies 

' Learn that at my command thy magic lies/ 

Dyr-Zoro, by a force unseen control'd, 

Then slowly to the East his eye-balls roll'd : 

But, as he tum'd, each glimpse of morning pale 

Shot consternation thro' his cloudy veil ; 

For all the cloud that wrapt him as he flew 

Was form'd of hellish shapes, of doubtful hue, 

Still varying ; since in ev'ry essence light, 

(Not tangible, but shape defin'd to sight,) 

The flame, which as a soul was lock'd within, 

Would glimmer thro' the insubstantial skin. 

Struck with the morning beam, they fell away 

Like the hoar frost at early dawn of day; 

Ev'n Falsehood, from his cradle with him bred, 

Then left him, terrified ; and silent fled 

Spiral at first and then in masses spread, 

Like the grey vapour that rude altars yield 

When Toil devotes to heav'n the produce of his field 

Now destitute of magic aid, a prey 
To hateful virtue, and more hateful day; 
Tied down to truth, necessity severe 
Exacted from the unwilling Sorcerer 
Whate'er of secret crimes Maimoune wish'd to hear 
Why, at that dang'rous hour, his earthy weight 
Encumber'd Air ? to whom untimely fate 





His labour boded ? what wide realm to spoil ? 
What Babe to strangle ? or what Maid defile ? 
On what remorseful Murderer's fever'd brain 
To pour th' oblivious anodyne of gain, 
And urge to rapines new, that many might be slain ? 
Maimoune question'd : but that hell-born tongue 
(Long with delusive lies and glozings hung) 
Sounds, on which Truth might ride, could scarcely 

frame ; 
And on his forehead glow'd the brand of Shame. 
Drawn out by slow degrees, at length he told 
The deeply-rooted plans of Acban bold ; 
And the wide wasting ruin he ordain'd, 
Till Aulum's crown and Canace he gain'd. 

Amaz'd Maimoune heard: such complex guilt, 
Such disregard to blood in torrents spilt, 
Such cold indifference to the ties, that bind 
To gratitude the fiercest of our kind, 
Seem'd, to her wondering thought, beyond the span 
Of crime, that might be dar'd by feeble Man. 
Cambuscan well she knew: a soul so great 
Claim'd the best love of all the heav'nly state : 
And, in the Tartar Court, her fostering care 
Had cherish'd oft the supplicating fair. 
But midst the southern race, a deeper hue 
The forehead ting'd, and dy'd the morals too, 
Of all, except the Prince : Al-Kabal's mind, 
To Virtue and her peaceful walks inclin'd, 


Oft to restrain ambitious Aulum tried : 
And when he fear'd to blame, apart he sigh'd. 
This Prince, to Aulum's youth, a Georgian bore : 
When with colossal stride, from shore to shore, 
Ginghiscan, overshadowing all the land 
From the Propontic to the Caspian strand, 
Sinope, and the Georgian throne o'erthrew; 
Their Princes exiPd, and their warriors slew; 
And, looking down on rich Assyria's realm, 
Shook over Taurus' brow the terrors of his helm. 
From Teflis c then, their ancient throne destroy'd, 
The royal outcasts wandering far and wide, 
Upon their sad reverse great Aulum smiFd ; 
(For Acban had not then around him coil'd) 
And smit with charms which, in that swarthy zone, 
Blaz'd o'er the rest with lustre not their own, 
(As snowdrops seem to boast unequalPd white 
When the black frost prevails, and bitter blight) 
With Georgia's banish'd Princess shar'd his crown ; 
And with her hue, her virtues gave his son. 

c From Teflis, &c ] Teflis is the principal city of Georgia. Ginghis 
Khan, having subdued the countries in the neighbourhood of Lake Bai- 
kal, advanced against and conquered China, towards the East, and all the 
kingdoms bordering on the Caspian and Euxine Seas, to the West, as far 
as the Propontis. His intention of invading Europe was prevented by 
death ; but one of his sons over-ran all the southern parts of Russia and 
Poland, as far as the Baltic. Taurus is that part of the great chain of 
mountains which extends from Olympus to Armenia. Ginghis Khan 
never advanced south of that part of the ridge. 


The lovely flowret, which a driving blast 
Has sown by chance in some sequestered waste, 
Gay to the eye, and to the nostril sweet, 
Unfolds its charms, where none those charms can meet: 
Yet. may those beauties never bloom in vain; 
For Heav'n, that gave them, and heav'n's holy train 
Will nurse them with the best of morning's dew, 
Augment their fragrance, and refresh their hue. 
Thus, though in Ophir's Court Al-Kabal's breast 
On no congenial qualities could rest, 
Nor cull from all the youths the realm might lend 
One whom his heart could cling to as a friend ; 
Yet were his opening virtues seen above ; 
And all good Spirits blest him with their love : 
Maimoune most: she heard th' Ophirian's plan 
With horror, and indignant thus began. — 

' I muse not hell-born Sprite! that thou should'st aim 
' To tinge all beings with thy livid flame: 

* From wickedness thou had'st thy origin; 
' And what is first derived from Night and Sin 
c Its mischiefs will pursue as they begin. 
' I muse, that Man, unfetter'd in his will, 

* With talents apt alike for good and ill, 
' Should leave the pathways that to rapture tend 
' And toil in schemes that in destruction end ; 
( That still the passing moments should bestow 
' Their boon, Experience, vainly as they flow. 



' Since first in Nimrod's heart ambition swell 'd — 
< Nay, since the Cherub Lucifer rebelled, 
' Whoe'er with one small vice has clogg'd his breast, 
' Has, one by one, done homage to the rest : 

* And History, when she flings her light behind 
e Upon the long array of human kind, 

' Ev'n till the deeper dye of modern crime 
' Fade in the distant perspective of time, 
e Holds out a blazing beacon, still to shew 
c That Virtue is Contentment, Vice is Woe. 

* All, when their course of wickedness is sped, 

f Curse the false meteor which their views misled : 
' Ev'n this bad Man who, won or help'd by thee, 
( Would mount on murder'd kings to sov'reignty, 
e May wish that Komri's base had been his grave, 
' And his e}^es stiffen'd ere he saw thy cave. 
f Hence ! in thy cavern's hell-approaching gloom 
' Brood on the chance to which thy wiles have come 
( Mourn that, too earnest in thy villainy, 
( That earnestness has given thee up to me — 
' Myself will act— when Man oppos'd to Man 
' Consume in anxious war their little span, 
{ We look not from our happy seats in air; 
( Though oft in pity we befriend the fair : 
' But if malignant Spirits interpose 
' With magic to envenom human woes, 
' 111 fits it me to check my saving arm, 
' And leave the feeble race unshielded to the charm. 



' Hence ! let not mortal or immortal eye 

' Thy hideous form in upper air descry, 

* Till Acban, unsupported, have essay'd 

' And prov'd th' effect of thy infernal aid. 

' To live unpunish'd on such terms is giv'n. — 

' Be still! and dread th' avenging wrath of heav'n.' 

She spoke: the sullen Charmer heard with awe; 
Felt his shorn powers, and own'd her will his law. 
Wrapt in retiring shades he sped his flight, 
And plung'd into impenetrable night. 
Northward Maimoune turn'd : full well she knew 
That he to terms so sanction'd must be true : 
And swift, as o'er the corn light shadows fly 
Of scattered clouds, that scud along the sky, 
To Sarra's palace urg'd her rapid way ; 
And paus'd where, lapt in sleep, the Princess lay. 
There, as she hover'd o'er, through all the room 
Ambrosial freshness breath'd and rich perfume ; 
The golden bed with brighter burnish glow'd : 
The silken curtains tints more vivid shew'd : 
And in each feature of the slumbering maid 
Th' ethereal presence added grace display'd. 

Buoyant, above her head Maimoune hung ; 
And from her wings in quick succession flung 
Of thoughts and forms a visionary stream 
That fill'd her fancy with a sprightly dream. 
The Pomp, the Feast, the Dance of yesternight, 
And all the wonders of the Stranger Knight, 


With shapes grotesque and wan<Tring thoughts corn- 
Danc'd o'er the wavering surface of her mind : 
But, as the indistincter notions fled., 
A train of order'd thoughts Maimoune led, 
And each upon her mind a deep impression made. 
On all the gifts she dwelt; but last and most 
On the strange Glass, of magic art the boast. 
This Mirror in her grasp she seem'd to hold, 
Gazing, as ev'ry wooer's features told 
His secret wish ; for o'er the narrow space 
In turn each Suitor pass'd, and to the next gave place. 
Nor those alone whose love before she knew, 
But unknown features pass'd in strict review, 
Each with a several passion ting'd, and each 
As plain confess'd as by extorted speech. 
Among the rest the Stranger Knight arose : 
But flame was in his eye : his furrow'd brows 
With the black scowl of horror were o'erspread ; 
And all his robe was dy'd a bloody red. 
She started at the sight — -recov'ring soon 
She look'd again — the Stranger Knight was gone— 
And in his place a beauteous form was seen, 
A youth in semblance, godlike in his mien, 
With all the grace that deck'd the Stranger Knight, 
But beaming from his eyes a milder light. 

Around his head, in many a purfled fold, 
A length of snow-white downy cloth was roll'd : 


Uncover'd was his neck : a silver vest 

Embrac'd his spreading shoulders and his breast ; 

And o'er that vest a robe of blue was thrown 

Loose to his knees, and clasp'd with crimson stone. 

Arch'd, like the span sublime of heav'n, his brow: 

His eye, like Jove himself enthron'd below : 

The sable tresses, clust'ring, strove to deck 

His temples broad and alabaster neck : 

So blooming was his cheek, as is the rose 

That lifts its blushes through untimely snows ; 

And the sweet smile that o'er his features crept 

Pearls (such as Thetis once at Ilion wept) 

Shew'd in the coral casket of his lips, 

And sham'd the twofold boast of Indian deeps. 

In his firm grasp two steely jav'lins rung; 

And by his side a Persian sabre hung. 

So beauteous was the form, the more she view'd 
The more her eyes were to the Mirror glu'd : 
And, as the gentle Pow'r engross'd her soul, 
On her unconscious cheek warm blushes stole. 
With this, her plumes again Maimoune spread; 
The Youth, the Glass, and all the vision fled. 
The Princess strove to catch its forms again, 
And thoughts on thoughts rose crowded in her 

But slumber heavy press'd and tangled all the 
" chain. 


Betwixt the Euxine d and the Caspian main, 
Vast branches spread from Kafs primeval chain. 
In one, whose rocks all intercourse deny 
South from the fertile realm of Circassie, 
Torn in her watry struggle Nature left 
Beside the Caspian shore, a spacious cleft, 
Through which a mighty host in long array 
Might unobserv'd and silent win their way; 
While in the crags above and cliff below 
Deep yawning caverns their recesses shew, 
And offer ambuscade and shelter to a foe. 
There with provisions stor'd, along the coast, 
Expecting Acban, lay th' Ophirian host, 
Panting for war : from him the soldiers learn'd 
Insatiate love of spoil, and for new ravage burn'd. 

But in that silent hour, Al-KabaPs breast 
Far different thoughts and other cares opprest. 
He (though to him Cambuscan was unknown, 
His strength in war, the splendour of his throne) 
Th' ambitious source of Acban's mission mourn'd, 
And fear'd Injustice, though with gold adorn'd. 
Much had he said (what soldier lent an ear ?) 
Much urg'd to stay Ambition's mad career; 
And while the dread event was yet but guess'd, 
He knew the cause was foul and trembled for the rest. 

A Betwixt the Euxine, &c] The pass of Derbent is as here described : 
it is a space left by the abrupt termination of Caucasus Proper on the edge 
of the sea, like the pass of Thermopylae. 


Ev'n then, the shadows of his waking thought 
Black shapes of ruin to his slumbers brought, 
When to his troubled mind an angel form 
(Like Phoebus bursting through a sable storm) 
In beauty's full effulgence radiant shone, 
And banish'd ev'ry thought but love alone. 
Cloath'd in the features fair and graceful mien 
Of Canace, appear'd the Elfin Queen, 
And breath'd a voice in accents clear but low, 
So sweet, from heav'n itself it seem'd to flow. 

' Prince ! on these features fix thy serious eyes ; 
' And ever in thy memory let them rise : 
1 For when again this face thou shalt behold, 
( Time's volume will thy destiny unfold. 
' In me, the close of all thy anguish see ; 
< The spring and scourge of Acban's infamy ; 
' To all, whom War's wide havock shall have spar'd, 
' The harbinger of peace, and thy reward.' 
The form dissolv'd away; the voice no more was 

Up from his couch Al-Kabal wildly sprung — 
Still on his ear the dubious accents hung — 
( W T ho saw her? come from whence? and whither- 
gone ?' 
Confus'd he said— ' Attended? or alone?' 
The guards admir'd, but answer made they none. 
c What, are ye lost in wonder ? well ye may— 
' Oh ! be thou Mortal, Houri, Genie, Fay, 


( That breath'st ambiguous phrases in mine ear, 
{ Sweet as the tones of heav'n that Hermits hear, 
e Oh ! be thy closing sentence soon fulfill'd ! 
( Heav'n to my vows so rich a bounty yield ! 
' Whate'er of hidden sense thy words import— 
( Take all the splendid pow'r of Ophir's court— 
' Take from me all I boast— save heav'n's regard - 
e So thou, celestial Dame ! be my reward/ 


ocarce had pale Twilight, hoary nurse of Day, 
Loos'd on the eastern hills her tresses grey 
And to her charge (whose youth and age and prime 
Twelve hours complete, re-born in equal time) 
The reins entrusting of ethereal light, 
Border'd with gold the closing wings of Night ; 
When, stealing o'er her eyes, the early ray 
Chas'd Slumber from the Princess quick away, 
And waking her to memory of the past, 
Full many a wistful glance around she cast. 
Each feature of the Youth her sleep admir'd, 
Dwelt on her mind and pleasing thoughts inspir'd : 
But who that Youth might be ? if Nature e'er 
Form'd a mere Mortal in a mould so fair ? 
Perplex'd she mus'd, with fear and doubt and pain : 
And ev'ry thought dismiss'd would soon recur again. 
While pond'ring thus, a look she chanc'd to fling 
On the broad hoop of her enchanted Ring : 
A strong desire rOse sudden in her breast 
By trial of this gift to prove the rest ; 


For still upon the Glass her fancy ran, 

The boasted test of all the Suitor train. 

Straight to the Matron, who her earliest care 

Had giv'n the youth of Elfeta to rear, 

And Canace with fondest hopes had nurs'd 

Her second charge, and train'd her like the first, 

She gently call'd — ' See Cadigha!' she said, 

' How the Sun shames us, sluggards, in our bed : 

c See ! Cadigha, how flames the morning ray ; 

c How sprightly sings the Centinel of day: 

' Quick let me rise : my curious wishes long 

f To learn the tenor of his early song : 

' Arouse th' attendant train : descend we now 

f To parley with the tenants of the bough.' 

She spoke ; the Dame complied : from room to room 
Ran, as the menials rose, a soften'd hum ; 
As if by chance in some rude Theatre 
The Roscius of the polish'd world appear, 
His name, in half-breath'd tones, is murmur'd round, 
Till in a whirl-pool lost of low and broken sound. 
All throng'd about her with officious care : 
All taught their lips a watchful smile to wear, 
And sought to please her ; but the sweetest far 
Lurk'd in the graceful Etna's dimpled cheek ; 
Etha, whose eye would still good humour speak ; 
Etha, whose art could wrap in giddy smiles 
The stedfast practice of her brother's wiles. 



g For thee/ she said, f sweet Princess ! ev'ry spray 

' Resounds with welcome to the rising day : 

' The varied tribes of air around thee throng, 

e And pour with copious eloquence their song: 

f For, now no more unnotic'd shall they sing — 

' Clear flows their language thro' thy wond'rous Ring. 

1 Sure He, who sent these presents has a mind 

' More piercing than the rest of human kind ; 

' For this, which yields to Man another clue 

€ To science, teeming rich with pleasures new, 

( He sends of all thy Race to thee alone, 

' To whom of knowledge old the paths are known. 

' Come Princess ! of aerial harmony 

' Though heav'n reserve the secret sense for thee, 

' The swelling sounds on Etna's ear shall fall ; 

' What fits our talents Heav'n affords to all.' 

Thus Etha ended ; ever wont to meet 
Fair Canace, with such good-morrow sweet ; 
Then took, and kiss'd her hand : th' attendant throng 
With airy step before her danc'd along, 
Fair as the Graces in the fabled grove 
Glide in the pathway of the Queen of Love. 
Beside the gate, on either hand they stood ; 
And as the Princess pass'd, obsequious bow'd ; 
Whilst she with Etha near, upon the lawn 
Burst in full radiance like another dawn, 
And tenfold beauty shed o'er all the scene : 
Gloss to the gorgeous flow'rs and freshness to the green. 


Thin vapours, from the fertile meadows borne, 
The mounting day-star of his beams had shorn ; 
And his slant ray in broader surface shew'd 
His full red orb, that like a furnace glow'd. 
Yet did his light and ( morning's breezy call* 
Wake ev'ry dormant spark of life in all : 
The sun-born insects wanton'd in his beam, 
And toiPd for nothing through life's busy dream ; 
And ev'ry bird with blandishments of love 
Or plaints or soothings, fill'd the vocal grove : 
Unconscious then that Canace was near, 
And all they sung had meaning to her ear. 
And, ever and anon, as in her sight 
They hopp'd and peck'd or urg'd their jerking flight, 
Their notice by soft words she sought to bribe, 
And win short converse from the thoughtless tribe. 
But they, who in her converse nothing found 
Save thoughts they felt not, and familiar sound, 
Still peck'd and hopp'd, and, heeding nought beside, 
Their little scope of voice to love applied : 
For little else can Instinct's compass reach : 
'Tis Reason that impresses worth on speech. 
The Dame pass'd on, the tangled paths among; 
And sometimes stopp'd and listen'd to the song ; 
Till, perch'd upon a poplar's wither'd bough 
Unbark'd and bleach'd as Dover's chalky brow, 
Alone a snow-white Falcon she espied : 
Sad seem'd the noble bird, and sore she sigh'd ; 


And rais'd her piercing voice so shrill and high, 
That the wide woods re-echo'd with her cry. 
And with her crooked beak her breast she tore, 
Till all the grass beneath was dy'd in gore : 
And oft, as one whose mind had lost its guide, 
Struck her hard pinions 'gainst her downy side, 
So sad that all who heard her clamours loud 
(E'en the fierce tyrants of the distant wood) 
Some tears had dropp'd, if to their instinct Heav'n 
Tears, that adorn Humanity, had giv'n. 

For never Man, though vers'd in Falconry 
And knowing 3 by his hawk each man's degree, 
Such shape, such colour saw, such graceful mien, 
What time she hung her spreading vans between, 
And clove so smooth the liquid fields of air 
That none the whistling of her plumes might hear : 
Nor on the cliffs could any Falc'ner find 
One like this single bird, of all the kind, 
Or wild, or such as stoop to Man's command : 
She seem'd a pilgrim from a foreign land. 

But Canace, who heard and understood 
That Reason in this strain of sorrow flow'd, 
Rush'd onward to the tree and spread her pall 
To catch the sufferer should she fainting fall : 
And, as in what she heard she well might trace 
A mind beyond the vulgar feather'd race, 

a And knowing, &c] In antient times each rank had its proper hawk 
assigned to it, from the Emperor to the Holy Water Clerk. 


Much did she say to soothe the Falcon's grief, 

And proffer'd o'er and o'er her hest relief, 

And urg'd her all her miseries to explain ; 

Since cureless, till divulg'd, is woe or pain. 

' Me, Falcon ! thou mayst trust ; my pity feels 

c Each drop that o'er thy milk-white plumage steals : 

' And, as I am the daughter of a King, 

c When I shall know thy sorrows hidden spring, 

' All that my power or woman's wit can give 

c Shall join, this anguish from thy mind to drive. 

f Say, is thy true-love lost? or droops some friend 

c In the sad scale of sickness to her end ? 

c Or Death's or Cupid's malice dost thou mourn ? 

1 Of these the sharpest sorrow e'er is born. 

' Know thou, that, taught by chance, my healing skill 

*■ Can drugs of such a force from herbs distil 

' As to thy pain shall yield a quick relief, 

r And close those bloody monuments of grief.' 

But in her soothing when the royal Maid 
Touch'd on the tender string of love betray'd, 
The Falcon louder yet began to cry, 
And sobb'd with such heart-rending agony, 
That her frail nature sunk ; and from the tree 
She dropt before the feet of Canace. 
The Princess on her breast the sufferer laid 
And smooth'd her plumes and kiss'd her drooping head, 
Till from her death-like swoon at last she woke, 
And thus with sighs to her protectress spoke. 


* That gentle hearts with pity soonest teem 

* Needs little proof of argument, I deem : 

r This ev'ry hour's experience must express ; 
e Compassion springs alone from gentleness. 
c Now hear my dreadful tale and thou shalt know 
( The bitter source from whence my sorrows flow ; 

* And others, ere they love, be warn'd by me, 
€ That oaths are but the bait of treachery. 

' Where first I saw the light; what fost'ring care 

* First launch'd me on the buoyant stream of air 

€ And taught me quick from clime to clime to sail, 

' And stretch my pinions boldly to the gale, 

' Love, bitter Love, has cancel'd from my mind : * 

c No trace of what I was remains behind. 

f My weak remembrance cannot further turn 

' Than the sad era of the love I mourn : 

' The date, the progress of that love is plain ; 

' But all beyond has faded from my brain. 

f In early youth b a Tercelet I knew, 
c Fair in his form and splendid in his hue ; 
( But beauty was with him for vice a screen ; 
' Grace was without, but treachery within. 

li In early youth, &c] Most, if not all hawks, lay three eggs; a 
large one, containing a female bird, which in that genus is always supe- 
rior in size to the male ; a smaller one, which is addle ; and a still less, 
which contains the male bird : the addle egg is generally thrown out of 
the nest by the old ones : from the above circumstance, the Italians 
call a male hawk Terzeletto, whence our term, Tercelet, which sig- 
nifies the same thing. 


c Yet was his manner so enwrapt with art, 
' Such frankness hid the falsehood of his heart, 
' That none could doubt he had a perfect soul, 
' Or guess beneath the varnish all was foul. 
' Ev'n as the deadly snake in ambush lies 
( Coil'd up among the flow'rs enamel'd dyes, 
( Ev'n so in mild observance, courtship sweet, 
' And cares that ever tried my wish to meet, 
( In vows of constancy, and witching smiles, 
' This hypocrite conceaPd his fatal wiles. 

( Love that soon ripens, oft decays as soon ; 
' But mine, tho' short of date, was hardly won. 
' Full oft the changeful Moon her horn renew'd, 
' Ere I this Terc'let with affection view'd 
' And took his vows before the Gods above :— 
' Ah! sad exchange of perjury for love. — 
' Each the same tale with different meanings told ; 
' The heart he gave was tinsel, mine was gold : 
( Yet when his hope with smiles I stoop'd to bless 
( And stak'd upon his faith my happiness, 
' Think not, I suffer'd then the lawless god 
' At his wild will to riot in my blood ; 
e Ev'n in the transport of that tender hour, 
' I gave my constant heart, but gave no more ; 
f Nor can the over-weening traitor say 
' When he destroy'd my peace, he flung me spoiPd 


* Ah ! yet I see him when with downcast eye 
c And falt'ring voice, T own'd his victory — 

' What eloquence of thanks each glance conveys ! 
f What bliss he shews, and in a thousand ways ! 
' Sure never Subject of the Paphian Boy 
' Or felt, or seem'd to feel, sincerer joy : — 
'Not He, whose fatal rape a dream foretold ; 
' Not Troilus, the Prince of lovers old ; 
' Not Jason, doom'd by Justice to atone 
' (Such Justice is not now) for mischiefs done. 

' One morn with grief he gave my fears to know 
' That from me he awhile, perforce, must go, 
' For grave and high affairs requir'd him thence — 
' 'Twas all, heav'n knows ! 'twas all a mere pretence !- 
' But so this traitor said : no living tongue 
' Can picture half the pain my heart that wrung ; 

* I doubted not his truth: had e'er my mind 
r Guess'd but this worst of miseries behind, 

' The hour of death and parting had been one, 
' And, Lady ! you had never heard my moan, 
c His absence, then, was all I had to grieve — 
' Now I have prov'd him false— and yet I live! 
€ Ere yet he went, I pledg'd again my troth 
' And took, ah fragile tye ! his mutual oath : 
' Again his arts the flatt'ring Tercelet plied, 
' Anticipating joys that would betide, 

* When uncontroul'd he nam'd me for his bride : 


' And, as if he were hurt as deep as i, 
' Echo'd my lamentations, sigh for sigh. 

* 'Tis well — let my misfortunes others teach 

' That they in acts are worst who are the best in speech, 
' The time arriv'd, and ta'en our last adieu, 

* With well dissembled woe away he flew ; 

* Thither he went, where high affairs requir'd ; 
' But went where other charms his fancy fir'd, 

* Went where a newer love he chanc'd to see 
f And soon forgot himself, forgetting me, 

'■ Lady, desire of change in Men prevails :— 

' Search nature through, new fangled are the males ; 

' And weak restraints our best caresses prove 

' To curb the rovings of their wayward love. 

' For fickle is the sex ; they toil to gain 

* Our all of love, and then that love disdain: 
' 'Tis Novelty they seek, to nothing true: 

c And when they vow you're fair, they mean you're new. 

f This Tercelet, though swell'd with decent pride 
( As to the royal Eagle near allied, 
' Yet in caprice forgot his high degree, 
' And sacriflc'd his pride for novelty. 
' A Kite, c the basest Hawk that sails in air, 
' Grov'ling in manners though in plumage fair; 

c A Kite, &c] Kites were formerly held to be of a base nature, like 
vultures, as preying only on carrion : but 1 fancy there is no truth in the 
notion. Ben Jonson reckons the Kite in very low company, though he 


* He saw, admir'd, and woo'd — no thought of me ! 

' Away at once with truth and constancy 

' He wastes his love on one whom all despise; 
c And I must nurse a grief that nothing remedies !' 

Thus mourn'd the Falcon., in a loftier strain 
Than ever bird shall pour a plaint again ; 
And as she ceas'd her wretched fate to tell, 
Into her death -like swoon again she fell. 
Then Canace with fresh caresses sought 
To soothe her sorrows ; and attentive brought 
To her rich chamber, where a spacious mew 
\Vas fram'd with speed and lin'd with velvet blue, 
A symbol that the heart within was true. 
The space around she dy'd a willow green ; 
There pictur'd the unfaithful birds were seen. 
The Tercelet stood foremost in degree, 
And shone the Prince of Infidelity ; 
While all the chatterers, Starling, Paw, and Pye, 
Flung on the perjur'd race foul obloquy. 

These objects to divert the Falcon's mind 
And sooth her sorrows, Canace design'd : 
The rankling wounds to cure, her magic Ring 
Taught her from whence the potent herb to bring. 

calls it a bird of prey ; but it is where he speaks of such birds as scent 
dying.carcases — 

Vulture, Kite, 
Raven, and Gar-crow, all my birds of prey— 



At hand, amidst a lonely grove, it grew; -v 

But though of heav'nly brightness was its hue, f 
Save she who wore the ring none might that bright- C 

ness view. J 

This Herb, which could the flitting soul recal, 
A Monarch midst the plants, excell'd them all. 
By day, like gold appear'd its petals bright ; 
But like the Glow-worm's lamp they shone by night: 
The stem and foliage were a bloody red ; 
And the strong root with silvery fibres spread. 
O'er the wide wounds the sov'reign juice she press'd; 
The wounds at once the sovereign juice confessed ; 
The jagged flesh was clos'd ; the pain gave way ; 
The scars were lost and smooth the plumage lay ; 
As when a lake's wide surface feels the blast 
And wrinkling heaves in billows black and vast, 
If lenient oil some tutor 'd hand distil 
On the wild waves, its power at once they feel ; 
Where'er it floats the swelling surge subsides, 
And not a curl the smooth expanse divides. 

Acban, meantime in gorgeous robes array 'd, 
His early homage to Cambuscan paid. 

* Great King !' he said, ' let not my speech offend, 
' When for thy weal I pray, my sov'reign's friend. 
c Oh ! on thy life may lasting sunshine play 

* And new-born blessings mark each natal day ! — 

( - Long, long, may heav'n that day returning yield, 
c And thy green age with added honor gild ! 


' Oft while I live, sweet memory will recal 

* The pomp, the pleasures of Cambuscan's hall ; 
' And I will say, when years shall authorize 

' My lips to counsel (for the old are wise) 
' Ye, who would build your fame on man's esteem, 
' Act like Cambuscan, and be lov'd like him. 
' But now oh King! the fleeting hours command 

* My swift departure, though my wish withstand : 
e Long dreary paths have I to traverse now, 

6 Toil in my limbs and caution on my brow; 

' For, ere I see my King, o'er many an heath 

' And forest, the familiar haunt of death, 

' And many a desart wide have I to pass, 

( Scarce seen or number'd on that Horse of Brass 

' Which now to thee, Cambuscan, I resign 

' Thy toils determine with the birth of mine V 
e Sir Knight/ Cambuscan said, f a little stay 

* Let our persuasion pluck from haste away: 

' With a short absence shall your King dispense, 
( Nor while, we speak your welcome, force you 

* Though toilsome be your way, the labour still 
( Now or hereafter you alike will feel ; 

< And as for twenty days we hold our feast, 
( So long our love entreats you for a guest. 

< Tartars have little shew, applause to win ; 
' Their treasured excellence is hid within : 


* But whatsoe'er pertains to War's delight, 

€ That here a Warrior's visit may invite, 

' Ourself will shew to such a noble Knight. 

' And, in the revels, be our Peers your guide ; 

' Or both our Sons the social task divide : 

e While from our hoards fit presents we select. 

' The heart that sends, supplies the gift's defect.' 

The Knight replied, ' Oh King, 'tis thine to will ; 
* My humbler part those wishes to fulfil : 
( And Aulum will not sure a day deny 
6 To pleasures, given beneath Cambuscan's e}^. 
' O'er all the globe of earth, like Night and Day, 
€ Ye stretch your sceptres with divided sway: 
' How blest my lot could I revolving run 
' Through both your Empires, like the general Sun, 
' And at the feet of each alternate lay 
6 That homage I to one was born to pay ! 

• So might I, in your various virtues, scan 
c At leisure, the true excellence of Man ; 

* So might I see the buds these Princes shew 

( Burst into bloom that shall with honour glow ; 
' And study all the charms thy court can boast ; 
' Now seen by glimpses and forever lost, 
c And as enjoy 'd the least regretted most. 
c As the night wand'ring Trav'ller, who by chance 
1 Sees through a rifted cloud pale Cynthia glance, 
( For that one moon-beam feels acuter pain, 
f When darkness folds him in her arms again. 



r Here then for twenty days be nty sojourn : 

< That period past, to Ophir I return. 

' But when the twentieth morning shall appear, 
' From me the wond'rous secrets thou shalt hear, 
c By which the motion of that steed is rul'd, 
e And safely mount by my experience school'd. 
' In public view of all, in open day, 

< My hand shall bid the springs within him play 

< And to thy ear the use of each impart ; 
' Myself instructed by the Maker's art : 

' Then to thy care commit the Brazen Frame, 
c Which Time the first of wonders shall proclaim. 
e Meantime, oh King ! thy mutual gifts prepare ; 

< Such intercourse of love I joy to bear: 

( And, if my pray'rs prevail, the infant Peace 

' Shall flourish long, and teem with large increase 

* Of royal friendship 'twixt the Monarchs twain, 
' And wealth and plenty to each glad domain. 

' For me, thy favours in my grateful breast 

' Wake thanks sincere ; and be those thanks expressed 

' Yourself, your house, my gratitude demand ; 

* We feel a kindness in a foreign land: 

' And for the favors giv'n and promis'd now 
( My best of service to that house I vow. 
c Oh, may ye, when my steps I homeward bend, 
' Reluctant lose me, as, in part, a friend !' 

He ended : Algarsife, while o'er his head 
Soft Modesty and youth their graces shed, 


With eyes declined but with majestic mien, 
His guidance proffer'd through the festive scene : 
c If aught, Sir Knight/ he said, { my youth can do 
f To serve, befriend, amuse, or honor you, 

* The courtesy will sure itself requite ; 

* For worth is gain'd by converse with a knight: 

< And Him whose presence high the Sire esteems/ 
' His honored friend the Son with reverence deems/ 
But Cambalo before the nobles prest 
And gaily to the Knight his speech addrest — 

* The pleasure of this revel, great before, 

' Thy presence, Knight! shall make us prize the more 

* Each in the sports for praise will doubly try, 
c And brighter lustre beam from Beauty's eye ; 
1 That, when return 'd in safety to thy Lord, 

' Thy tongue impartial may this truth record ; 
' Of all the realms the spacious earth contains 
f Love's favorite mansion is on Sarra's plains, 

* There her best art prolific Nature shews ; 

f There softest blends the Lily and the Rose; 

* There marks the figure with a bolder line 
' And adds a graceful mien almost divine. 

* In the gay feast, be Cambalo thy guide : 
' Erbol, my friend, be ever at thy side ; 

* So shall our joys from thee receive a zest, 

' And thou, Sir Knight ! those joys unclouded taste." 
He spoke; Cambuscan rose: with reverence due 
Attended by each Prince the Knight withdrew. 


Each Prince,, as fair occasion call'd, his guest 

Conducted oft to those he lov'd the best ; 

Both wish'd to please,, for both had gracious minds; 

But as around an oak the ivy winds, 

So did capricious levity degrade 

The nobler bent that Cambars mind display'd. 

He to wild pleasures, with his Erbol led ; 

But pleasures furnish'd means to Acban's head : 

In ErboPs ear his craft unnotic'd pour'd 

Foul drops of treason 'gainst his mighty Lord, 

Which, circulating slow through all his frame, 

Rais'd, by degrees, his passions to a flame. 

From Acban's powerful hand his eager soul 

Grasp'd honor, wealth, and pow'r without controul ; 

And, so his hopes that eminence might climb, 

He shrunk from nought, nor peril, toil nor crime. 

Oft too, when gayer pastimes paus'd awhile, 

Cambal would feed his fire with Etna's smile. 

Thither, without a fixt design, he stray'd; 

For Cambal lov'd (or thought he lov'd) the Maid ; 

She, fond of homage, though to Algarsife 

She once aspir'd, and sought to be his wife, 

Was pleas'd with Cambalo's uncertain flame, 

And pleas'd the more when Acban with him came. 

For, taught by him, she hop'd the throne to share 

With Cambal wedded; when the righteous heir 

And great Cambuscan fell by his pernicious snare. 



Thus did this child of Sin his toils extend ; 

Treacherous to all, to all a seeming friend : 

That tempting bait, selecting which might reach 

The master-vice predominant in each ; 

But studious of his single weal alone; 

Each lost Accomplice ready to disown 

Should the scheme fail, or when the prize was won 

But with such clouds our Sense the Passions blind, 

Perverse, we ne'er suspect the fraud behind ; 

Till, drawn by Him we trust from Virtue's path, 

Ruthless he leave us to disgrace and death. 

Blind Ignorance ! does Vice its aim pursue 

Through toil and peril for no selfish view? 

Does he who leads iniquity, forego, 

That thou may'st seize, the spoils that from it flow? 

Or does he use, while he may want, thy aid, 

To spurn thee, when thy little part is play'd? 

The more capacious mind that comprehends 

Wide schemes, and others to its purpose bends, 

With small concessions, petty bribes, cajoles 

The narrow appetites of puny souls, 

And wins, for his own use, the confidence of fools 

Thus for the New-born shoals the Angler tries 

To clothe his hooks for prey of larger size ; 

But still his bait in ruffled waters throws, 

Nor trusts it to the lucid lake's repose : 

The shoals that headlong rush against the stream, 

The fatal worm as Fortune's favour deem, 



And gorging what they think propitious heav'n 
To feed their lusts has prodigally giv'n, 
Assist that hand, which while they yet devour, 
Checks the unnotic'd rod : their joys are o'er — 
And they, suspended in the self-same flood, 
Lure in their turn, and other dupes delude. 

But Algarsife, who lov'd the Russian Dame 
With warmer, purer and more lasting flame, 
Oft from the joyous board would draw his guest 
With sight of Theodora to be blest, 
And as he seem'd in earnest to confer 
On matters high with old Wolodimir, 
His eye, his thought, his tongue, would stray to her. 
Then would the stranger talk of battles won, 
Of marshall'd ranks and glory's deathless crown, 
In mute suspense while Theodora hung 
On the proud accents of his copious tongue, 
And Algarsife, unflesh'd in victory, 
Felt his cheeks kindle and his pulse beat high. . 
But chief the hoary King, whose best of life 
Had labour'd in the glorious fields of strife, 
In what he heard retrac'd his earlier days, 
And his own echo'd to another's praise. 
In every word he found the perfect Knight; 
Skill'd to rehearse as well as act in fight; 
And growing to the tale, he found again 
A bounding current dance in ev'ry vein : 



With firmer grasp he clench'd his staff of age, 
And his eyes gleam'd, as in the battle's rage ; 
With sighs, reflecting on his humbled crown, 
He view'd the Chief, and wish'd for such a Son ! 
Then fir'd again, forgot that he was old, 
And Acban's scheme succeeded ere 'twas told. 
Thus fares the age-worn Steed, whose vigorous prime 
Paus'd not the mountain's steepy ridge to climb, 
To bound o'er plains, to swim the rapid flood, 
When horns and hounds resounded through the wood 
If chance the cheerful music reach his ears, 
He starts, he snorts, his noble crest he rears, 
O'er the smooth turf, with active motion skims, 
And feels a long-lost lightness in his limbs. 

Thus they in Sarra pass'd their annual feast ; 
Most in the sports employed, in frauds their guest. 
Cautious he tried who best might be beguil'd : 
The bad made worse, the wav'ring heart defil'd ; 
Seduc'd by praise and poison'd where he smil'd. 
But none perceiv'd the mischiefs spreading round, 
And still they danc'd and sung, and still the feast was 

As, when its poisonous fumes the Marsh exhales, 
Silent they ride upon the passing gales, 
And wafted into Man, with common breath, 
The vital functions taint with hidden death: 
But till the Dog-star dart his sultry ray 
Or foul debauch corrupt our mortal clay, 


The pest lies latent: still the seeds are cast 
Wide, and more wide, and dreadful burst at last. 
Meantime, in ambush hid where Aulum lay, 
Anxious he chaf 'd at Acban's long delay ; 
For from the ambush to Cambuscan's throne 
A Pilgrim in three da}'s with ease had gone. 
But when that Moon, whose newly lighted ray 
Had seen the envoy born through air away, 
Now in the wane revers'd her blunter horn, 
But lent no guidance to his wish'd return ; 
Lost in amaze the king conven'd his peers 
To his clos'd tent, and thus express'd his fears. 
' What cause, oh Warriors ! can so long withhold 
1 Our Envoy, prompt in thought, in action bold ? 
' Can this rude king, a stranger to the laws 
( That bind the world as in a common cause, 
' Our pow'r contemn, and him in bonds detain — 
' Or doom, base wretch ! to violence and pain ? 
c Or must we tremble lest our loss proceed 
' From the strange nature of this Brazen Steed, 
' Which flies, perchance, by strong attraction drawn, 
1 To the far realms where Komri's caverns yawn ? 
' Or in straight course its hapless charge may bear, 

* Till snatch'd beyond th' upholding atmosphere 

* It fall, with due support no more supplied, 
( And fall for ever in the boundless void ? 

' Warriors, to you 'tis known, and to the rest, 
' How close we strain'd this Acban to our breast : 


( Him then, or slain, or if in bonds he groan, 
' Thy fall, Tartarian King ! shall late atone. 
' But leave we him A nearer care demands 

* Our wisest judgments, and our readiest hands. 
' In deserts rude and wide our army lies : 
' And though past foresight present want supplies, 
' Though we have scouts to guard against surprize 
' Tell me, ye Chiefs ! if first Cambuscan learn 
( Our Envoy's message, and prevent return, 
c Will not his prudence (for the sounds of Fame 
' Cambuscan's warlike qualities proclaim) 
' Fence ev'ry fort, exert his mighty sway 
e And swell his host each moment we delay, 
( While far around our van and flank and rear 
c His squadrons of their stores the districts clear 
s And tame by famine whom in arms they fear 
' This might be done, oh Chiefs ! and if it might, 
e 'Tis ours to deem it done by such a Knight ; 

f And once foreseen 'tis ours the blow to ward ; — 
e Light falls a blow, that falls on men prepar'd. 
' Three ways, oh Warriors ! at our option lie 
( To shun this crafty Monarch's subtlety:— 
< Or let us pause and send a spy before 
' The councils of Cambuscan to explore : 

* Or quick, if pervious be the middle space, 
' Our former footsteps to the ships retrace 5 

c Then trust the Caspian wave, and seek again 
f Through Parthia's deserts our Kermanian plain : 




c Or undismay'd, a nobler course pursue; 
' To our own honor, yet unstain'd be true, 

* And rapid as the sands of Afric's waste 
' Whirl all-destructive, driv'n before the blast, 
c At Sana's wall for fame and empire strive, 
' Ere half Cambuscan's vassal kings arrive. 
f These modes of action to our choice are free : 
< 'Tis mine to weigh the counsel giv'n by ye : 
s Then ponder, if ye doubt, upon the three/ 

' If what I thought were worth a Monarch's ear, 
e At once/ said Amda, * we should rush to war. — 
' E'en while your spies the Tartar force explore 
' It swells in bulk and courage ev'ry hour ; 
' And if a thought of flight could touch the brave, 
' Flight from this place leads only to the grave ; 
c Such numerous bands will rise on our retreat, 

* Each plain laid waste and ev'ry path beset — 
( But, sacred Prophet ! did I hear aright ? 

c Can Aulum entertain a thought of flight ? 
c Oh ! dreadful is the death of those who fly — 
e The brave advancing, conquers with his eye — 
f Our feet are form'd by Nature to advance: 
' Forward our hands to shake the lifted lance; 
1 And he that turns his forehead from a foe, 
e Invites his fate and cannot ward a blow. — 
' What shall we turn and leave the Tartar wall 
( If Acban from within for vengeance cal! ? 


' Is this the due return we make to him, 
f Of great exploits the head, the heart, the limb ? 
' To leave him gall'd with a barbarian's chain, 
' While meanly we th' Ophirian frontiers gain ? 
? Forbid it, heav'n ! did this alone incite, 
' This thought alone should drive us to the fight.' 
e And it shall drive us — were our person there 
f Acban for us would ev'ry danger dare,' — 
The Monarch cried: ' the heavy stores relade 
1 Quick on the mules, and be the march array'd.' — 
' Oh! pause/ Al-Kabal said, ' imperial Sire! 
' Act not when passions fierce your mind inspire. 
' Who proves Cambuscan of a barbarous mind ? 
( Why such a cause for Acban' s stay assign'd I 

< Proceed if grounded be these vain alarms, 

i That, and that only, justifies your arms: 

' But if some treaty his return impede ; 

' If sickness stay him ; or th' infernal steed 

* Scorn such controul, and snatch the Knight away 

'■ Where Phoebus never lifts his blessed ray, 

' To Sorcerers and their baleful Gods a prey : 

' If chance like this your Envoy's absence cause, 

< Tis you that break the barrier of the laws. — 
e You by your Envoy, terms of peace propose 

' (But terms which your ambitious views disclose) 
' And while, perhaps, the King your offer weighs 
e Or knows it not, while Acban distant strays ; 



' You, like portentous thunder from on high, 

' When not a cloud pollutes the sapphire sky, 

' Rush with fierce troops, unknowing how to spare r 

' Ere shakes the Olive with the breath of War, 

' On wretches, unresisting, unarray'd, 

f Stretch'd in the comforts of that sacred shade. 

' Pause, ere the dye be thrown ; and ascertain 

' What cause your Envoy may so long detain : 

r So shall you still your fame unspotted bear, 

' Of peace observant, or excus'd in war* 

' Oh ! let not carnage from light fancy rise — 

' The ill strikes sure; the cause is bare surmise: 

* First let another Chief be sent, to find 

' If customs long rever'd Cambuscan bind ; 
c If Acban reach'd the royal mansion learn, 

* And reaching, what prevents the Knight's return. 

* This task (lest some my calm advice impeach 
'■ And tax my deeds as they belied my speech) 
1 Myself will undertake, and willing share 

' Whatever perils yonder Knight may bear. 
( But none I dread. — In ev'ry order'd state 
e Necessity will social laws create: 

* 1 fear no fraud in royal diadems; 

c For cunning is the fruit of baser stems; 

c And, fraught with terms of peace, I freely go 

e Amid the thickest battle of the foe!* 

c Not so, my Son!' the Monarch mild rejoin'd, 
Struck with the greatness of Al-Kabal's mind, 


c Howe'er thy wish from high-bred honor came, 

' Thy ardour praising, I thy counsel blame : 

( 111 fits it I indulge thy bold design, 

c And trust in camps unknown such hopes as thine: 

6 Seek fame, my Son ! in perils nobly dare — 

' But seek it in the open front of war: 

c So shalt thou swell the realms my sword has won, 

[ And with new trophies deck my laurel'd throne. 

f But now enough. — To thy unpractis'd years 

€ A treacherous aspect sudden inroad wears : 

f But learn, my Son, this useful truth from me ; 

c The. soul of War is Opportunity. 

( Time, as he flies us, from his hoary wings 

( In drops minute the fleeting moments flings — 

{ Oh, catch them as they fall ! ere yet, conjoin'd, 

f They mingle d in the tide that rolls behind: 

' For they that miss them as around they show'r, 

c Wail as they will, may ne'er behold them more. — 

e The hour then let not idle scruples lose 

( To hurl our force on unexpecting foes; 

f If now to fight Cambuscan be compell'd, 

f Great as he is, he fights without a shield : 

e For of his numerous vassals few can join, 

6 And feeble bulwarks thwart a foe's design. 

d They mingle, &c] ' The Valley that thou seest is the Vale of 
* Misery; and the Tide thou seest is part of the great Tide of Eternity.' 
Spect. No. 159- Vision of Mirza. 



' And grant our fears for Acban's safety vain— 
g Grant that some other cause the Chief detain — 
c How easy 'tis, some fair pretence to find 
f For the wise measures of the prudent mind ! 
' And ev'n should rage at first that Monarch warm, 
€ Subdued, 'twill sink; for. he must fear our arm. 
c JNow, let each Leader to his post attend: 
c All to our instant march their service bend, 
' And scouts on ev'ry side their search extend. 
f The thirst of spoil each soldier now forego, 
( Nor blaze a falchion, till we meet the foe — 
s Veil the bright helmet, low your ensigns bear, 
c Speed lead the van, and Silence close the rear!' 
At once to raise the Camp the Chiefs began, 
And busy murmurs through the ramparts ran ; 
Quick ev'ry Tent on hardy mules was plac'd, 
And the long line beyond th' entrenchments past; 
Quick, as in Caledonia's lonely vales 
(What time blue mist athwart the mountains sails) 
Ideal forms e the funeral pageant shew 
To some hoar Seer, foreboding kindred woe, 
And, ere his aged eyes have look'd their fill, 
Fade into air along the distant hill. — 
So quick, so silent, march'd the troops away; 
And the wide camp an useless desert lay. 

d Ideal formsy &c] Vide a Treatise on Second Sight. Vide also Di\ 
Johnson's luminous passages on that doctrine. 


As when declining Autumn's sickly breath 
Flings o'er the grove the yellow hue of death, 
None mark the leaves, as one by one they fall, 
But grieve and wonder when they miss them all : 
So, in this Revel, each succeeding day 
Stole from their banquet unobserv'd away; 
Nor did they count each morning as it rose. 
But started at the feast's lamented close ; 
Save Acban, all : He labour'd hour by hour, 
His snares drew tighter, and increas'd his pow'r : 
In Erbol still and brave Wolodimir 
Each thought that favour'd him his art would stir; 
And soon the seeds, he scatter'd, grew to bear, 
In minds so fram'd, the crimson fruit of War. 
So in the Javan soil, which quick obeys 
The call prolific of the solar rays, 
When scarce the hind beneath the palmy bough 
Has dried the sweat of culture on his brow, 


The stalk springs rapid from th' expanding grain 

And Plenty waves her banner o'er the plain. 

Wolodimir arous'd his subjects ire; *\ 

And Erbol Vice dejected tried to fire, > 

Tempting the most with hope, and some with hi rex 

But Cambal chief, th' Ophirian's art essay 'd 

A little tainted, lower to degrade ; 

He thought that one, who in the sensual train 

Of Vice, would oft his princely honors stain, 

Nor started at the hideous form beneath, 

When Pleasure deck'd it with her flow'ry wreath, 

Craft might with ease in worse attempts engage ; 

For scarce distinct is crime in each successive stage. 

But in the soul of Cambal, though disgrac'd 

By levities, proud honour first was plac'd, 

And pleasure next, and slavish vice the last : 

Oh ! never might so rich a mind be won 

To league with traitors 'gainst a father's crown : 

Vicious he was, but never prone to ill ; 

Vice was subservient to his youthful will ; 

And, when the gust of luxury was o'er, 

His soul shook off the taint and bow'd to virtue's 

Thus on old Ocean's breast the Sea-mew rides, 
And to her use compels the peopled tides ; 
But nought of moisture can her plumes receive ; 
The waves roll round her and no vestige leave ; 


And when aloft she spreads her pinions light, 

No dampness clogs them or retards her flight. 

Of Cambal, wary Acban soon despair'd ; 

And 'gainst detection warn'd his friends to guard: 

But promis'd Etha still, that her command 

Should give the reins to either brother's hand ; 

That Erbol rank and pow'r should foremost claim ; 

While Acban but possess'd the royal dame : 

Securing, as the mighty Aulum's spoil, 

The southern districts to reward his toil; 

And marking, as Wolodimir's domain, 

The realms that border on the Baltic Main. 

For carefully the plan by all was laid; 

Events foreseen, contingent crosses weigh'd, 

And fixt the time their purpose to declare, 

When Acban by surprize should snatch away the fair. 

But now at length the twentieth Sun arose, 
Like a funereal torch, the sports to close. 
All knew the Knight was thence that morn to go, 
And, first, the secrets of the Steed to show : 
And all began, at early dawn, to pass 
Towards the base-court, where stood the Horse of 

The Centinels, attentive, open'd wide 
The palace-portal, to receive the tide 
Which thronging ev'ry spacious street, drew nigh ; 
Impatience in their step, and wonder in their eye. 



The busy pages deck'd the royal halls 

Where glowing azure ting'd the lofty walls ; 

And round the columns, of vermilion hue, 

Hung flow'rs, fresh dropping with the morning dew. 

When from the lofty dome, his Sons between, 

The King descended with his graceful Queen 

And Canace the fair ; whose ev'ry look 

Through beauty's bloom her untold feelings spoke 

Wolodimir, with all his Russian train, 

Erbol, with all th' associates he could gain, 

Lin'd the base-court: the master chamberlain 

The order'd line of nobles forward led, 

Where Aeban stood alone, beside the Steed. 

Alone he stood : for all th' expecting crowd, 
By Marshals rang'd, a vacant space allow'd : 
And to Cambuscan said ; ' Oh King ! draw near 
' Some little suits alone thy private ear : 
e The rest of what I tell, let all around us hear 
' Know then, such pow'r the framer's art conferr'd, 
* My lips can utter forth a magic word 
f Which glittering as he stands and large of size, 
4 Shall snatch at once the Courser from our eyes ; 
e And that same word, reversM, has equal force 
e As quick to vision to restore the Horse ; 
' And whosoe'er may touch the frame, when you 
' Pronounce the potent sound, shall vanish too. 
*■ But this, 'tis obvious, must from all be hid 
■ Save thee, oh King ! the master of the Steed ; 



( Nor this alone my prudent care conceals ; 
' The touch peculiar that the fabric wheels 
' And sinks and raises, as through air you go ; 
* None but your own instructed ear must know : 
' Else moody discontent or sullen hate 
c (When sudden danger lour'd upon the state) 
' Might with a breath your strongest hope destroy, 
' And 'gainst the throne itself this gift employ. 
' Oh King ! draw near' — alone Cambuscan came, 
And silent standing by the magic frame, 
While the first word yet hung on Acban's lip 
The image from his eye-ball seem'd to slip ; 
And instant, as the second sound was heard, 
In the same shape and place the Horse appear'd. 
But none among the crowd, that stood beyond, 
Might catch the whisper of that magic sound ; 
They miss'd the Horse, and saw him re-appear; 
And watch'd the Monarch's face, of graver cheer 
With anxious doubt imprest, and with relig 


Then Acban thus resum'd : c This Talisman, 
' To snatch the treasure from the view of man, 
c And, when it fits, to sight again restore, 
' My lips have vested in thy royal pow'r : 
f Now then I mount: two slender pins behold, 
' One in each ear, compos'd of beaten gold ; 
( When I shall turn the right, the horse shall rise 
' In spiry circuit soaring to the skies ; 

leer, I 
ious f 


' And, downward when I wish my course to bend., 

' I touch the left, and he will straight descend/ 

He said ; and mounting, from his shoulders flung 

His robe, and turn'd the pin, and upward sprung, 

Light as the sky-lark wings her tow'ry flight 

To chaunt a requiem to departing night. 

High o'er their heads he rode ; then from above 

Quick glancing, like the flaky wrath of Jove, 

At once upon the vacant space he stood, 

While shouts of wonder burst from all the crowd. 

Then thus; c From what is done, you plainly see 

1 How strong, how swift, the Courser carries me. 

' But lest, unus'd to an aerial course, 

c You fear the motion of this Magic Horse, 

' Or think, when from aloft your eyes discern 

1 The Globe convex on all sides from you turn, 

' Distracted, you should feel your brain go round, 

' And lose your seat, and tumble on the ground; 

c Let one, the boldest of the warrior train, 

c Fill the soft saddle when I mount again, 

c While I behind him, with my truncheon, guide 

e Our progress through the paths of ether wide. 

f This safe atchiev'd, ere yet my practis'd hand 

c To thee, oh King ! resign the Steed's command, 

c Another, dearer, venture will I dare ; 

c And to the clouds escort some noble fair — 

c Ev'n royal Canace to trust may deign 

1 The well-prov'd safety of my guiding reiSt.'-^r 


c What needs/ — Cambuscan interrupting cried, — 

€ What needs the Courser further should be tried r 

* No further proofs of safety will I see — 

e Is't not enough the Steed was brought by thee ? 

' Thou hast already taught me to command — 

' An impulse speaks within — let none withstand ! > 

He said; and sudden, ere th' astonish'd Knight 

Could check his rashness or direct aright, 

Leapt on the Horse and toueh'd the spring, and flew 

Swift as an arrow from a Giant's eugh. 

Amazement tied the tongues of all the train ; 

But had all cried, their clamours had been vain. 

Then, circling, he began in spires to rise : 

The Queen, the crowd, still follow'd with their 

And Acban stood aghast with horror and surpr; 

For, in this chance, he saw his plans o'erturn'd ; 

Since well he knew the Monarch, yet unlearn 'd 

In the true secret how to guide the Steed, 

And turn him downward and his course impede, 

Must rise in circles (widening, as the air, 

More distant from the earth, became more rare) 

Till Famine's wasting hand by slow degrees 

Should sap the vigour of his sinewy knees, 

And drag him, just expiring, from the Horse, 

The sport of winds, an insubstantial corse: 

Nor might the utmost reach of magic pow'r 

E'er give his longing eyes to see the Courser more. 

prize : 3 


As eager school-boys oft, in crowds, are seen 
Watching the motion of their light machine, 
Which with broad bosom hangs upon the gales 
And seems to lessen, as aloft it sails ; 
So gaz'd the Queen, and so the Princes gaz'd> 
And Canace with hands to heav'n uprais'd ; 
So did Cambuscan, to their eyes, appear 
In form less broad, and less in outline clear. 
And, as when, ending their parental care, 
The Storks their young to lunar regions bear ; 
With vigorous wing they cut the upper sky, 
And in the liquid light escape the eye — 
So towVd, at length, the Monarch o'er his host; 
Now twinkling seen, and now in ether lost. 
But Elfeta still watch'd his fancied flight, 
Though on the empty air she fix'd her sight: 
Like marble, in her solemn grief, she stood; 
And the big tears involuntary fiow'd. 
Till Canace (whose filial care supprest 
Each throbbing sigh that struggled in her breast) 
With a soft kiss the pearly sorrows stopt 
That trembling hung awhile, ere yet they dropt, 
And caught her hand, and from the public eye 
Led the sad queen to grief and privacy. 

Not so the Prince ; for black suspicion swelPd 
His heart, though candour at the thought rebelPd. 
He might observe, in all the Courser's flight, 
The different guidance of the King and Knight : 


For as in measur'd circles rose the one, 

Unvarying like a dull automaton, 

Acban, above, below, around, would wheel ; 

And shew, at ev'ry turn, a master's skill 

To stop, advance, to rise or sink at will : 

And, musing, he revolv'd within his mind, 

That Acban, though he seem'd of gentle kind, 

Was master of a powerful fabric, made 

By magic arts ; and magic oft is bad : 

But still, though young, too cautious to confide 

In semblance (little oft to truth allied) 

In silence on the skies his looks he bent 

And waited, all in vain, his Sire's descent. 

But fiery Cambalo, unus'd to rein 

The burst of temper with cool reason's chain. 

Though all unconscious of the doubts that stung 

His brother's mind, and trembled on his tongue, 

Found in the lengthen'd absence of his Sire 

Enough th' impatience of his soul to fire ; 

And, fixing on the Knight his alter'd eye, 

' Return the King, false traitor ! or you die — 

( Return,' he cried, c a father to our arms, 

i Or hope not to escape by hellish charms.' — 

• Forbear,' sage Algarsife in haste exclaim'd, — 

' Reproach is harsh ; but heavier to be blam'd 

■ When, sprung alone from dark suspicion's breast, 

< Jt charges falsehood on a public guest* 

' Yet must I say (and thou, Sir Knight ! wilt hear 

e With grief, if innocent; if false, with fear) 

c The loss we now deplore, if loss it be, 

' Intended, or by chance, still springs from thee. 

' The bleeding realm and we, Cambuscan's seed, 

' Require thee, Knight! to justify the deed: 

' The means employ'd our doubts might authorize; 

1 For spells from pacts unholy often rise : 

c If thou restore not, in a little space, 

( The Prince, the Friend, the Father of our race; 

' Orprove thy truth (and think not words can charm 

' The vengeful sorrows that our bosoms warm), 

e Nor Hell, nor Aulum saves thee from our arm/ 

c Unthinking Prince!' presumptuous Erbol cried, 
* Has heav'n both head and hand to thee denied? 
' These words to Acban ? is there one, who hears 
f Thy foul upbraiding, but the Knight reveres ? 
f Say, is there one of high or low degree 
( But rather kneels to him than bows to thee ? 
( Learn prudence, Prince ! Cambuscan now remov'd, 
e Obedience passes to the best belov'd : 
6 And wisdom bids us crave the man you scorn 
' To choose our King, from those of Ginghis born/ — 
( Heav'ns ! is it Erbol speaks ?' with faltering voice 
Said Cambalo, ( does he propose the choice ? 
( Does he forget the ordinance divine 
e That binds succession in the imperial line? 



* Sure, heav'h this day, for past offences, pours 
x The direst vengeance from its penal stores : 

c Cambuscan lost— our honour'd guest the cause — 

c And Erbol rebel to our sacred laws — 

f What means my friend ?' ' Thy friend will soon be 

tried — 
< He loves thee.' — Erbol unabash'd replied : 
' To thee, the throne the soldiers have assign'd ; 

* To Algarsife, what fits his feeble mind/ — 

( The throne to me ?' and while he furious spoke 
The beams of honour play'd o'er Cambal's look — 

* The throne to me ? Now, noble Algarsife ! 
' I feel the curses of a vicious life: 

c Had I ta'en virtue for my guide, like thee, 

* No traitor for his Prince had fixt on me. 
c But to thy title my strong service now 

* This blot upon my faith shall disavow : 

' And he that dares impeach thy lawful pow'r, 

* Though once my second self, is lov'd no more.' 

Then Algarsife ; * To me whatever heav'n, 
' Of Greatness or debasement, may have given, 
' That heav'n will teach with equal mind to bear; 
' To serve, or govern as Cambuscan's heir. 

* Thy words to notice, Erbol ! I disdain : 

* Thy soul is eager, wicked, weak, and vain.' — 

* If I have err'd,' replied the fearful youth, 
(For little did he deem of Cambal's truth), 


' If I have err'd, oh Chiefs ! the wrong impute 
f To rashness, springing from affection's root; 
' Cambal I lov'd, since first the manly grace 
f Stole o'er the softer beauties of his face ; 
' Nor I alone, but all the troops have lov'd : 
f But, if my warmth your just displeasure mov'd^ 
' Hear, when I swear to him I true remain, 
' Friend, if he serve; or subject, if he reign.' 
' Oh Princes !' Acban slow began to say, 
' 111 suit these jarrings with this awful day. 
( Ye deem Cambuscan by my art betray 'd : — 
' I blame not charges bv distraction made. 
' But ye may come to know, what wrong your thought 
' To me, to honour, to yourselves has wrought: 
c Time, who its vivid hue from glory steals, 
( To poise that waste, mysterious facts reveals; 
6 And Time shall prove (what blots soe'er obscure 
c My dim renown) from this my soul is pure. 
f A messenger of Peace, I brought this frame, 
e An earnest of his love from whom I came. 
< Would he send ruin as a pledge of love ? 
e Or know Cambuscan's self the Horse would prove ? 
s Did I to this rash act your Sire invite ? 
6 Did I not rather ask, that some bold knight 
( Before me on the saddle should be plac'd, 
{ A Damsel next, and your Cambuscan last? 
e Why then impute to me, what Fortune's will 
{ Has order'd, all our minds with grief to fill?— 


* Like youthful features, Lords ! the youthful breast 

* By a slight impulse is with ease imprest: 

( On ye, whose skins the tints of nature shew, 
c How soon the north-wind strikes a scarlet glow ! 
c How soon upon your ivory necks, the Sun 

* Leaves of his burning touch the traces brown ! 

' While he, on whom the damps of midnight, fall'n, 
c Have by the parching beam been dried at dawn, 
< Through many a toilsome year, no change displays 
' From the keen blast, or from the fervid rays. 
f Ev'n thus it fares, young Princes ! with your minds 

* Ye the first thought or good or evil blinds ; 
' And as ye hotly think or well, or ill, 

c Ye load with favours, or ye rush to kill. 
c But I have learnt appearance to mistrust, 
c Nor act on semblance, till I find it just. 
( Oft in the far horizon's rugged line 

* Thin spiry clouds with massive rocks combine ; 

c But these with lightest breezes change their form; 

( While mountains stand, unalter'd by the storm. 

' And thus, as passions bias, rash surmise 

c Prints varying outlines on the mental eyes; 

( But if the mind one fixt impression shews, 

£ We know 'tis truth from whence the image flows. 

s Then listen to my words: though high in air 

' The King be borne, it fits not to despair : 

' Haply to view his subject realms he strays, 

' Till distance from his sight those realms erase; 


* Or haply what I boasted he will try, 

{ And round the Globe of tarth undaunted fly. — 
c If this his wish, the Sun again shall rise 
f Ere his lov'd aspect greet your longing eyes; 
' And ye, mean time, distracting doubt shall tear; 
' Nor Acban's self exclude some pangs of fear. 
c But, rul'd by reason, now dismiss the thought 

* That I, your guest, this dread event have wrought; 
c And when each, separate, communes with his breast, 
i Let each his mind of such base doubts divest.' 

He ceas'd; nor fail'd the vulgar to convince, 
To startle Cambal, and perplex the Prince : 
For Algarsife through all the gloze could find 
A something, but he knew not what, behind ; 
As nought is seen distinct through colour'd glass, 
And ev'n the rays are tinctur'd as they pass. 
Then thus he spoke: c Your words, Sir Knight! are 

wise : 
e More speak I not, till wary friends advise : 
f If Erbol be but true to Cambalo, 
( So shall he to myself attachment shew. 
6 Now let each grieving friend apart retire, 

* And weary heav'n with pray'rs to save our Sire.' 
Cautious he said; for well his wisdom knew 
That Erbol's vices sway'd a numerous crew. 
Then with the royal train in silent grief withdr< 

But Acban, howsoe'er at first dismay'd, 
Now with more cheerful eye th' event survey'd. 

- j 

thdrew. J 


Apart, in council with Wolodimir, 

And Eibol, and each discontented peer, 

Soon a new scheme his wisdom could arrange, 

Which to his good might turn this sudden change. 

Compos'd he spoke, and each confederate cheer'd ; 

For fearful ev'n Wolodimir appear'd. 

c Beyond our sum of hope, this favouring day 

* Has snatch'd the mightiest of our foes away, 
c And little risk my friends remains to try : — 

' The head lopt off, the members prostrate lie. 
' Perhaps my guardian powers (for pow'rs there are 
( Of whom your Knight is the peculiar care) 
c Urg'd the bold King to spring upon the Steed, 
' Lest wisdom should our wish'd exploit impede : 

* For uninstructed in the master pin 

e Which rules the complicated springs within, 

( To turn the Courser shall exceed his pow'r, 

( And ne'er shall earth alive receive him more. 

e How easy then, to seize the vacant throne, 

' By none defended, or by boys alone? 

' How easy this vast empire to divide, 

' Enough for us and many more beside? 

' But ye, whose hearts a sense of injuries fires, 

( Yet mask the courage which your nerve inspires : 

f In the dark look of sorrow veil your hate ; 

e Pretend an anxious interest in the state, 

' And with the general voice your Acban execrate 




( For I must hence, to bring the needful aid— 

r Mere curses will not hurt my absent head ; 

c Though all, when 1 am gone, in furious zeal 

' Swear that by me their moon-struck Monarch felL 

( But when the battle joins (for Algarsife 

r Will hold his sceptre while he holds his life) 

f Lead off your squadrons : though their bulk be 

' Some disaffection, prov'd, will sow distrust in all : 
' And while the panic reigns, my sword will shew 
' The path to conquest through th' astonish'd foe. 
' But chief, oh Erbol ! bend thy utmost care 
e The errors of thy rashness to repair: 
r Win the young king, till to thy martial hand 
c He give the guidance of the veteran band, 
( Whom, long from arms retir'd, th' alarm shall call 
* The stronger to replace, and man the wall. 
' Thus, when our armies meet upon the plain, 
' And uproar all around and horrors reign, 
' With ease may'st thou the royal dome surprize, 
( And keep secure the beauteous sacrifice, 
' Till Acban (overthrown th' opposing bands) 
' Can seize the only prey his hope demands/ 
Cheerful he spoke, and from the Chiefs retir'd : 
They long his unexhausted art admir'd ; 
Then parting, each confirm'd his trusty pow'r. 
And anxious waited for the signal hour. 


Meantime the Monarch in th' aerial height 
With pleasure, long, pursued his spiral flight: 
Far smoother did the Steed in ether float, 
Than down a dimpled current glides a boat 
When the oars sleep, when Zephyr's self is still, 
And scarce a ripple clings around the keel. 
Then stretch'd beneath his feet, in wide survey. 
The elevated plains of Sarra lay : 
As, when some merchant future gain projects 
And with an anxious look the Chart inspects, 
At once the torrid shores that gold supply 
And either India, fill his greedy eye: 
Of each the profits glitter in his soul, 
And doubtful where to fix, he wanders o'er the 

whole : 
So far'd the Tartar King; when from on high 
O'er many a subject realm he roll'd his eye. 
Far in the East, and scarce within his ken, 
The Mongal districts lay, the hive of men 
From whence his mighty father Ginghis pour'd, 
And with such matchless prowess whirl'd his sword, 
That all had bow'd the iron yoke beneath, 
But trembling Europe clasp'd the knees of Death, 
And woo'd the Pow'r to wave his icy hand 
And save the choicest portions of her land. 
There had Cambuscan fixt his fond regard; 
But other scenes a like affection shar'd : 

-ey'd C 


North a , where his arms to polish 'd arts restored 
The mines which Altai T s snowy wastes afford 
By Griffins guarded once against the one-( 


West, where Crimea spreads her verdant vales, . 
And her surge whitens with a thousand sails; 
And South — but as he southward turn'd his eyes 
Where Kaf shuts up the view and props the skies, 
Arnaz'd he spied the bold Ophirian train 
Wind in long columns o'er the fertile plain. 
What such a band of warriors might forebode 
He fear'd; and anxious for his country's good 
(For friends, expected march, in secret, foes) 
Touch'd the left pin — but still the Courser rose ! 
Stooping, again his utmost force he tried 
To bend it, as its fellow bent, aside ; 
But still that utmost force the slender pin defied. 
Thus the tall spire, that crowns the sacred pile 
Where solemn chauntings swell from aisle to aisle, 
Bends not, nor totters, though the autumnal storm 
With gather'd rage assault its tapering form. 

a North, &c ] The Altai, or Golden Mountains, the scene of the 
battles between the Griffins and the Arimaspians (when the latter pur- 
loined the treasures of the former) lay to the north of Sarra. The Ari- 
maspians were a fabulous people having one eye, in the middle of the 
forehead; they were said to steal the treasures of the Griffins, an animal 
partly Lion and partly Eagle, inhabiting Imaus, now Altai, 



Sudden, again he tried ; again he fail'd : 

A keener anguish now his mind assail'd : 

For their quick march the rapid squadrons won 

Within short distance of th' imperial town; 

And (as the feast had e'en for hinds a charm) 

None, at their toil disturb'd, spread round th' alarm 

Not for himself he fear'd: butmcurn'd to view 

How near his unsuspecting friends they drew, 

When none the close approach 01 danger knew 

The horrors of surprize, the city siorm'd, 

And his rich dome with ravages deform'd, 

The rack, to stretch for gold the quiv'riug limb, 

The outcries to high heav'n, the prayers for him, 

Rose vivid in his mind : for he had seen 

The features of Defeat and knew her frightful mien 

Oh ! he might witness, when he could but grieve, 

(Forbid by Fate and Magic to relieve) 

His host o'erthrown, his mighty empire spoil'd, 

The Princes slain, the royal dames defil'd, 

And hang suspended in the air, so near, 

That ev'ry sufferer's shriek would reach his ear. 

Not with more anguish, from her tow'r, the bride 

Beholds the dusty whirlwind rolling wide, 

And catches, as the gale blows softly by, 

The last vibration of each wretch's cry, 

When her lov'd lord an outlaw band repels, 

And none the various turns of battle tells. 


But higher still the stubborn Courser wheel'd, 
And clouds below the Sarran plain conceal'd ; 
Conceal'd his palace, hid th' invading crew, 
And gave to Fancy all that must ensue. 

Acban with speed his splendid robe laid by, 
And loos'd the glittering falchion from his thigh. 
A boar-spear in his hand, and coarsely clad, 
In silence through the busy town he sped, 
And drew no notice on his humble head ; 
Unknown, unheeded, by the self-same throng 
That worshipped, when in state he pass'd along. 
Oh God of Man's affection ! gaudy state ! 
What wonders can thy magic touch create ! 
Disrob'd, a King is nothing: on a throne, 
Each blood-stain'd outcast is a Philip's son. 
Then, Virtue ! trust not to thy inward gem ; 
Catch the eye first; then win the heart's esteem. 

A Horse, beside the portal, Erbol's care 
Provided, to his camp the Knight to bear. 
But scarce had he began his journey's toil, 
His course directing to the close defile, 
Ere in a hollow way that cross'd the mead 
(Bare now and dry, but once a river's bed) 
He saw a long extended column wind ; 
And all that Aulum thought at once divin'd. 
Surpriz'd, but not confus'd, more firm and broad 
Instant he wove the tissue of his fraud ; 



And forward sprung and shouted from the van : — 

The well known sound along the column ran, 

And, loudly echoing to the furthest rear, 

Taught the glad soldiers that their chief was near. 

Then hast'ning to the King, who clasp'd with joy 

That breast which toil'd his empire to destroy, 

' Oh Sovereign !' he exclaim'd, ( though us'd to find 

g In all thy acts a penetrating mind, 

c The Prophet, I must think, this march has led, 

c Or swum in nightly visions round thy head, 

* And told thee all yon traitor King has done, 
' And bad thee seize the undefended town.' 

* Nor nightly dream, nor Heav'n confess'd has told, 5 
The King replied, f whate'er yon walls infold. 

e Concern for thee, alone among our foes, 

' Rous'd us, long doubting, from the camp's repose ; 

' And hither have we march'd, thy life to save, 

* Or with their dearest purple dye thy grave. 
f But this is not a time to tell our fears — 

' Thy look, thy coming teems with other cares — 

* Tell then, but briefly, what thy long delay 
' Caus'd in yon tow'rs ? what brought thee now 


* And what affords those tow'rs an easy prey V 

He ceas'd, and Acban thus—' If chance have 

* This lucky march, be chance the soldier's heav'n ! 



• The King is snatch'd away— the loyal band 

f Palsied with mute amazement feeble stand, 

' While Insurrection bares her scowling brow, 

< And all, who late caball'd, breathe fierce defiance 

now — 
' But I should tell thee, that when first I came 
c And spoke the terrors of my sovereign's name, 
( The mighty warrior vaiPd his lofty tone 
( And gladly bought thy smiles with Cabul's crown: 
' But when our hands the solemn truce had sign'd, 
t When oaths had pass'd, the truce more firm to bind, 
' When, unsuspicious of the King's intent, 
f The pledges of thy favour I had sent — 
' Then did this traitor-king his pact rescind, 
e And shew'd the Tartar features of his mind ; 
' Decreeing all the presents to retain, 
e But ne'er to yield Cabulstan's rich domain, 
' And in my person spurning Aul urn's reign. 
' For in his pride of heart (when nought was said, 
' But Justice flush'd some honest brows with red) 
( Rashly he leap'd upon the Steed (when I 
c Had taught him by what spring aloft to fly, 
e And that alone of all the mystery :) 
' And, calling on his monstrous deities, 
c Dared uninstmcted in the air to rise. 
'< But as he rose, in all who saw the sight, 
' On wonder fear ensued, on fear delight, 



* Succeeding, as when night's dark shades give way 
c To morning dim, that brightens into day; 

' For thraldom had engender'd hate before ; 

' (Though frowns were smooth'd and gloss'd by heavy 

( And Aulum's greatness (told by me) had shewn 
6 Cambuscan sat on no unrival'd throne; 
i But should Rebellion from her forehead fling 
' The vizor, fear-impos'd, a mightier king 
' Would dignify her acts and all her sinews strinj 
'.Why should I waste the precious time, to say 

* Amid the royal race what dire dismay, 

' What consternation ran? among the great 
' What jarring counsels mimick'd wise debate? 
' While Treason took her time to clamour loud, 

* And Uproar storm'd amid the senseless crowd. 
' Then haste ! ere yet the boiling passions cool,, 
' While yet nor loyalty nor treason rule, 

£ Haste, monarch! to th' attack.' — He said, and shook 
His rattling spear : Al-Kabal sudden spoke — 
c Stay, mighty Aulum, yet; to war who leans 

* May treat of peace, but e'er neglects the means. 
' The solemn treaty by Cambuscan made, 

f By him was broken : so your envoy said. — 
' He then alone deserves your vengeful hand ; 
e By him the gifts were seiz'd, the realm retain'd: 
f But they who groan beneath this tyrant's yoke 
f Should claim your aid, and not your rage provoke. 


' They counseFd not this fraud; but in their eyes 

( Your envoy saw th' indignant sparkles rise, 

' When this base king the sacred pact o'erturn'd, 

' And heavVs dread rites and Aulum's empire spurn'd. 

< Did any peers (for some in ev'ry land 

' Rank next the crown, in talents or command) 

e In speech or look to this foul act accede ? 

[ Not one— they shudder at the faithless deed. 

f Nay, at this hour, when Acban calls you on 

* Their rallying to prevent and storm the town, 

' They, whom you doom to death, espouse your cause, 
' And scorn an outrage on the public laws. 
' But say, if milder justice bid you spare, 
' Does policy or prudence urge the war? 
( If in his noon of life, when he could boast 
' Tried friends around him, and a loyal host, 
c Cambuscan scarce refus'd the lands you claim, 
c Subdued by the bare sound of Aulum's name ; 

* Will he, who now the tottering empire sways, 

{ Whom scarce one warrior from his heart obeys, 

c Whom open insurrection menaces, 

' Or treachery undermines by slow degrees : 

' Will he (deprived of that infernal steed 

( From whose imagin'd aid might spring Cambuscan's 

' Will he brave Aulum's near impending pow'rs ? 
f Or brave those brows on which Rebellion lours? 


c No — but if you, by thirst of carnage driv'n, 

f Reject the counsels which my youth has giv'n, 

1 Each faction will postpone the private jar, 

r Bound by the stronger fear of outward war : 

( For ev'n the few, whom Acban's words have won 

( To build their hopes on Aulum's pow'rful throne, 

c Will shrink, aniaz'd at such o'erbearing aid, 

' And doubt their friendship who uncall'd invade. 

( For once then, Sire ! let age to youth give way ; 

' Let your experience my advice obey : 

' Straight let some knight or herald, from the town 

' Call him, whose head sustains Cambuscan's crown, 

( And, midway from our host, upon the plain 

( To meet this king let not thyself disdain. 

' Then shalt thou urge the terms before propos'd, 

6 (The terms with which Cambuscan's self had clos'd}~ 

' And offer yet thy onset to restrain, 

* So fertile Cabul own in peace thy reign ; 

* And thou shalt rule the kingdom happier far 
' By reason gain'd, than if subdued in war.' 

Al-Kabal ceas'd: the monarch thus replied: 
' Well hast thou spoken ; be thy counsel tried . 
c If to our name one gem, of those that shine 
' Bright in his crown, this feeble prince resign; 
c A nobler jewel he may choose to yield, 
I Nor risk the dreadful sentence of the field, 
c When, from their toil refresh 'd, some other day 
< He sees our army wheel in fierce array. 


' Meantime, with rapid marches now opprest, 

' Let ev'ry squadron snatch a timely rest, 

* While all our seeming cares are to the league 

add rest. 
' Be it thy task, oh Amda ! from the wall 
{ This new-born monarch to our view to call; 
< And thine, my best-lov'd Acban ! to prepare 
' (Our strongest plea) the last resort of war/ 

He said ; the council clos'd : Al-Kabal's mind 
Sunk at the foul injustice now design'd; 
But none might seek to change the monarch's will 
Twas all he could to tremble, and to feel; 
While Acban, joyful (for this interview 
The eyes of Algarsife from Erbol drew, 
And furnish'd space his mischiefs to renew,) 
With speed refresh'd the host; and rest and food, 
The solace of all ill, man's common good, 
Us'd as the prelude to fresh scenes of blood. 

But Amda, with a troop of knights around, 
Gallant as May and rich caparison'd, 
Beneath the turret urg'd his proud demand 
Of conference, with the monarch of the land. 
Then to the rampart with majestic pace 
Advanc'd the hope of Sarra's royal race, 
Begirt with peers, a venerable choir 
Lov'd by the son as honour'd by the sire : 
And as he pass'd, the thronging multitude 
The young resemblance of Cambuscan view'd, 



And still the more they gaz'd, they lov'd the more, 

And fancied many a grace they ne'er observ'd before, 

As when an oak which long had rais'd its head 

The single ornament of all the glade, 

Split by the forky bolt, at once gives way, 

And yields the grove, long shadow'd, to the day:. 

If shelter'd by its arms, a scion rise 

With glossy rind and of no vulgar size, 

The swains well pleas 'd its youthful grace admire, 

And eager catch some relict of its sire, 

Thus did the Tartars joy their Prince to see, 

And all with shouts approv'd their loyalty ; 

Shouts, that in Erbol's ear detested rung, 

And o'er his ardent look dejection flung. 

* Sir King!' with proud demeanor Amda said, 
* Advanc'd before his host, on yonder mead, 
' The Monarch of the South in mercy deigns 
c With him to parley who in Sarra reigns : 
i So may he yet his half-drawn sabre sheathe, 
' And the pale North again in safety breathe.' 

He ceas'd : the Tartar chiefs with fury burn'd : 
Unruffled Algarsife these words return'd. 
f Strange is your Monarch's message ; strange the 

' He seeks, unharbinger'd, this distant clime. 
T If this same sun, now blazing near its height, 
e Had seen your coming with its earliest light, 


e Your words, sir Knight ! bad reach'd Cambusean's 

ear — 
' But now you speak to one wbo cannot hear. 
' In Sarra there is none who wears the crown : 
r And Sana's rule the northern empires own. 
' This day, by all good men for aye deplor'd, 
1 Has foulest magic reft us of our lord ; 

* This day, that shews your king ; this day, that bears 
' Words harsh and blunt to unaccustomed ears. 

' But think not, we are mov'd by aught but grief ; 
' In mind, in acts, each Tartar is a chief: 

* And if his sword entire your king should shew, 
' There are, who still can lead against a foe. 

' But pass we that — in peace, Sir Knight! return; 
' Your monarch's will the Tartar court shall learn. 
' Yet ere your speedy course his presence join, 
' Myself, and all that boast the royal line, 
' Will on the plain your unknown monarch meet ; 
e There hear his words, and there at leisure treat.' 
He said ; the Knight retir'd : then Algarsife — 
' Oh greatness ! still the aim of fraud and strife — 
' Who now shall doubt our stifled fears were just? 
' Who now shall Acban's honied language trust? 
c But haste ! let Canace and Cambal join 
' (Weak image of our Sire) their steps with mine ; 
' For till we clearly know Cambuscan's fate, 
6 His issue with joint power shall rule the state; 


( And, whatsoe'er this dark invader seek, 

e Still shall our royal deeds our ro}^al lineage speak/ 

This said, descending from the battlement, 
Through the wide gate with hasty step they went; 
And choosing from the peers a gallant few, 
Of valour prov'd and of allegiance true, 
Each took a courser which its burden bare 
So lightly that it seem'd to tread on air. 
JSach Prince a jav'lin seiz'd, that sprightly rung 
As on the saddle with a bound he sprung; 
And as they rode, with Canace between, 
The threefold elegance had Phidias seen, 
His art had stamp'd them for the twins of Jove 
Return'd with Helen, safe from Theseus' love. 
On ev'ry side were Henchmen of the Dame : 
The field with steel and jewels seem'd to flame; 
War's gayest pomp the noble troop combin'd; 
Their crimson banner danc'd upon the wind: — 
Quick as they pass'd, their coursers loudly neigh'd, 
And the hills answer'd, as the trumpets bray'd. 

Now either squadron met upon the plain : 
Aulum surpriz'd beheld the Tartar train. 
But when Al-Kabal in the Princess view'd 
(Her presence mark'd her of Cambuscan's blood) 
The eye, the form, the features, and the air, 
Th' expression, of the visionary fair ; 
Warm love, with wonder mixt, his bosom fill'd 
And through each vein a sudden rapture thrill'd: 


Three times to speak his hopes he rashly tried ; 
Three times its office due his tongue denied, 
By reason check'd, or by Maimoune tied. 
Then pondering what the mystic form had told, 
That she his fates, rewarding, would unfold, 
His ecstasy at last the Prince restrain'd, 
And, propt upon his jav'lin, forward lean'd; 
In mute suspense devouring all he heard 
And anxious till th' enigma should be clear'd. 
Fair Canace, till Aulum silence broke, 
Fixt on the ground her unassuming look; 
Then lifting up her eyes, amaz'd she view'd 
The image, that her glass pourtray'd, renew'd: 
The same Al-Kabal's face, the same his size, 
The same the speaking lustre of his eyes ! 
And oh ! she thought, might Acban's mirror prove 
A faithful index to the book of love, 
In strict alliance might the storm subside 
And she be destin'd for that stranger's bride ; 
That stranger, blest with ev'ry charm of face, 
With manly mien, and more than human glace, 
And blest with inward purity, to pass 
The strict ordeal of that wondrous glass. — 
But still perplexing fears her mind distrest — 
The mirror might be false, like all the rest — 
Yet still she wish'd it true, for love was in her breast 
Acban perhaps the guileful present gave 
Her heart in treacherous bondage to enslave; 



That tempting lure, perhaps, the traitor chose. 
To fasten half her soul on Sarra's foes ; 
Drest him in smiles, who sought her country's fate; 
And painted love upon the brows of Hate. 

'Twas thus the flame, by fairy practice caught, 
Maimoune's purpose in each bosom wrought. 

Aulum the noble youths a while survey'd ; 
Then with imposing temper gravely said, 
c Princes ! whoe'er ye be, who rule this land, 
* Where late a mighty chief, Cambuscan, reign 'd, 
f 111 will it suit ye, callow on the throne, 
' The claims of Faith and Justice to disown. 
{ For me, where'er my subject realms extend, 
' My arms to all alike protection lend; 
' Or if they breathe Arabia's rich perfume, 
€ Or weave the downy webs of India's loom, 
' Or, Tuder, dwell where Afric stretches forth 
' Her southern point, to meet the icy North, 
( All in their King a father's care confess ; 
f Their injuries I revenge, or I redress. 
f When CabuPs realm Cambuscan late subdued, 
-' And from their seats expell'd its tenants rude, 
( To me they cried ; for to my sov'reign sway 
i They bow'd, and all the tribes that near them lay 
' And little did it like my lofty throne 
( That vassals, tho' despis'd and scarcely known, 
e Beneath another's rod should undefended groan. 



c A chief I sent, a chief of mighty fame, 

s Those districts at Cambuscan's hand to claim ; 

* But still averse to war (an evil great 

• Ev'n when 'tis kindled by some petty state, 

c But ah ! so dreadful, when by Aul urn's pow'r, 

' That the world trembling waits the final hour:) 

' Averse to war, my noble envoy tried 

' With gifts, unequalPd in the world beside, 

f And offers of our friendship, to induce 

( The cession of that realm, in lasting truce ; 

' That Justice to the weak might yield their own, 

6 And the strong rest unshaken on his throne. 

'■ Such terms the King approv'd, the presents took, 

f Confirm'd the treaty, and that treaty broke/ — 

€ No treaty e'er was made, no districts nam'd.' — 

Sudden indignant Algarsife exclaim'd — 

( Your speech, however drest in royal phrase, 

i Th' invader's, not the monarch's, heart bewrays — 

< For never did Cambuscan's pow'r subdue 

' Cabulstan's tribe, or wrest that land from you : 

c Those tribes, a wand'ring horde 'twixt man and brute, 

( Range as caprice inclines or pastures suit ; " 

( And ?;reat Cambuscan (whom to call our Sire 

f Must with no common warmth our souls inspire; 

( Spread o'er those plains a people us'd to toil; 

' Bad commerce in th' abundant country smile ; 

( His favours show'r'd, new denizens to draw, 

( Enrich'd with arts and humaniz'd with law.— 


r Whence then could'st thou the rising kingdom claim 
< For tribes without or country, king, or name ? 
e No better title can such wretches yield 
( (Mere transient shepherds) to that fertile field, 
' Than Indus, rolling through a thousand lands, 
' Gives o'er them to the Prince who at its mouth com- 
c And never did that treacherous envoy dare 
r To ask those lands; and never threaten'd war; 
( He came, Cambuscan's natal day to greet 
e With gifts from Aulum's love, but not to treat.— 
c Oh, spirit of Cambuscan ! had that Knight 
' Dar'd but to hint at any other's right 
c To the least flow'r which vernal suns distain 
' Beneath the shelter of thy mighty reign — 
( Oh ! happy had he been to mount his steed, 
s And doubly grateful for aerial speed. 
' No — my great Sire those tribes did ne'er expel : 
( Cambuscan never stoop' d a throne to steal. 

* Your envoy of those districts never spoke: 

f No treaty e'er was made, and none was broke. — 
( A Steed of Brass (the special work of hell) 
' Was earnest of your love, and prov'd it well ; 
f Your charms my Sire remove, and now you claim 
c What, while he liv'd, you never dar'd to name— 
i But know, such cursed arts in vain you try : — 

* In vain the aid of hell so dear you buy — 


' What though the dreadful King be basely slain? 
c His soldiers, arms, and energies remain — 
c Yet, though unseen, he animates us all ; 
e He hovers round, and in his sight ye fall. 
' Away — disgrac'd, detected as ye be, 

* Learn to revere the name of such a King as he/ 

' Well may this monarch chafe,' Al-Kabal said, 
c If Acban ne'er a claim on Cabul made. 
' Nor muse I, though his bosom anger warm 
( And his rash lips with words intemperate arm, 
( That his youth kindles, when a stranger pow'r 
€ A treaty would enforce, unknown before. 
c But sure, if wilful silence be the cause 
' That to this bloody stake our armies draw9, 
c When now 'tis known that Acban never nam'd 
' The provinces, by him which Aulum claim'd, 
' What now prevents, that in alliance tied 
( Your empires meet, and all your jars subside? 
( Oh ! might my weak persuasion both incline 
c To close your eyes of rage, and see with mine; 
c How soon might peace your pow'rful realms unite, 
( And tender interests draw that union tight!' 

' Degenerate Son!' the Monarch sternly cried, 
{ To Candor, Cowardice is near allied: 
( 'Tis not a wish to spare the waste of life 
' That prompts thee to dissuade our glorious strife ; 
' The timid wish for peace, for war the brave — 

* The King seeks fame; security, the slave. — 


c What wisdom taught thy candor, to believe 

* That he speaks truth and Acban's words deceive ? 
( The tales this beardless warrior tells you now 

' The treacherous workings of his Sire avow — 
c So poor a game would wary Acban play,, 
' And give the Steed unrecompens'd away? 
' Or say he did — would this egregious king 
' Mount, ere instructed in the secret spring? 

* The very death he dies his theft reveals, 

* And proves the fact this treacherous prince conceals 
€ But let him yield the long-demanded realm, 

* Or dread our instant vengeance on his helm.' 

Frowning, he ended : but a gloomier frown 
Darken'd the forehead of his generous son ; 
While conscious merit and indignant shame 
Flush'd o'er his cheek a momentary flame. 
As when from iEtna's mouth black volumes roll 
And in untimely darkness wrap the pole ; 
By fits the livid flashes upward fly, 
And gleam a dreadful blush athwart the sky. 
In silence stood the Prince ; but inly mourn'd, 
And the base charge with noble anger scorn'd: 
Eager he long'd his valorous soul to prove, 
And Ardour check'd awhile the pow'r of Love. 

But Algarsife, who heard with deep disdain, 
And thought the more his Sire by magic slain, 
With keener words retorted Aulum's threat, 
And dar'd him instant on the plain to meet.-^- 


While Cambal storm'd, and loud on either side 

The angry peers their opposites defied ; 

And sheaths the ready sabres scarce could hide. 

Incens'd they parted ; for abortive peace 
The fire of deadly warfare will increase. 
Each to his troops in silence quick withdrew; 
None spread the banner, none the clarion blew 
For all were bent on fight, and death was in the 


But Canace, opprest with various grief, 
Hung on the image of the nameless chief; 
Her father's flight, her country's tottering state, 
Her brother's peril, and the stern debate, 
Came crowding in her mind; but love, betwixt, 
His rule asserted, and her fancy fixt 
On what the Prince of tender bonds had said ; 
And whisper'd, that for her that wish was made. 
Uncheck'd, her courser pranc'd along the plain ; 
Loose on his neck she flung the golden rein : 
Now downward she her pensive eyes inclin'd 
And dropt a tear; now cast a look behind, 
And war's eventful prospect chill'd her mind. 

Acban meantime (the joyful tidings heard) 
High o'er the troops th' Ophirian standard rear'd. 
The ranks he marshall'd, with a master's thought ; 
And to his proper ground each soldier brought, 
That all their skill in combat might exert ; 
Some in close fight, in skirmish some alert, 



Some trained with darts a distant war to wage, 
Some horse to horse with lances to engage ; 
Careful that all was balanc'd, and the line 
To one sole object might its force combine ; 
Nor, with its centre firm and wings too long, 
Some parts be broken, while the rest were strong : 
On ev'ry rank his equal mind he bent, 
And pois'd the whole, to speed the wished event. 

Thus, when the pow'rs of darkness o'er the void 
Bridg'd from the depth to earth a passage wide, 
When with so just a poise the span was thrown, 
So balanc'd in the fabric ev'ry stone 
That each to all gave strength, though weak alone 
Scarce, in that arch, th' artificers of ill 
Fram'd each compartment with more fatal skill, 
To bear th' eternal passage to and fro, 
And the wild anarchy that boiled below, 
Than Acban in this front of war display'd ; 
Alike to stand the charge, or for th' assault array 'd. 



-But Sana now unfolded all her gates 

And to her sons consign'd the Tartar fates. 

Forth from each portal rush'd an iron tide ; 

The veterans first, behind the youths untried; 

And in their due array, by practice skill'd, 

All to their custom'd ranks the squadrons wheel'd. 

Thus when, at Discord's call, the Founder's hand 

Unbars his furnace to the channel'd sand, 

Flaming, the liquid brass flows out, and fills 

The ducts prepar'd, and in a thousand rills 

Each to its mould assign'd, obedient, glides : 

Death with malignant smile o'er all the work presides, 

Apart, with holy priests, the youthful chief 
Sought, in the sacred fane, the best relief: 
With solemn rites the choral voice implor'd 
Effective succour from heav'n's mighty Lord; 
And echoing through the dome the music rung, 
When Algarsife the sacred incense flung 


Amid th' eternal flame ; and kneeling vow'd 

The Lama's shrine with costly gifts to load, 

So victory his first essay might crown, 

And deeds of arms proclaim Cambuscan's son. 

Then to the royal mansion quick he past, 

And the sad Queen with filial love embrac'd: 

Some tears the hero to affection gave 

Pensive — the feeling heart is ever brave : 

But Elfeta herself not long withheld 

The prop of Sarra's welfare from the field ; 

For, with fierce war familiar, well she knew 

Cambuscan's blood to peril still was due. 

And, ' Go,' she cried, i this thought thy soul inspire 

' To noble deeds— Cambuscan is thy Sire: 

e Is— or if death for ever close his eyes, 

' His murder to thy arm for vengeance cries. 

f Us, whom these walls inclose, to save from chains ; 

( To prove th' unsullied current in thy veins, 

c That still a hero's son, a second Phoenix reigns 

' Were spur enough: but Duty now conspires, 

{ Calls from the tomb and wakens all thy fires. 

f This be thy word — this drive thee on the foe — 

f Cambuscan fell, and Acban struck the blow !' 

, The Matron spoke, nor did the Prince reply: 
His answer was the sparkle of his eye. 
Quick as he past along the halls of state 
(Where hundreds murmur'd round of Sarra's fate) 



Timourshah staid his step : twelve times the Moon 
Short homage with her transient beams had won, 
And twelve times (prodigal of borrow'd light) 
Had wander'd unobseiVd in cheerless night, 
Since Sarra's pride the chief had loath'd to share, 
Nor harbour'd other guests, than grief and care. 
For his three sons, by him to glory train'd 
And far the dearest in Cambuscan's band, 
Relentless Death had struck by Wolga's stream, 
Too'soon — but spar'd the interval to fame: 
His daughter too (whose earliest hour of life 
Gave to the tomb his long lamented wife) 
Ere yet the sods were dry that cover'd o'er 
His warriors, slept her sleep to wake no more. 
Her, left by one she lov'd, and worn with grief, 
And drooping to the last, the sad relief, 
From scenes that to her mind recall'd the vow 
(Her richest treasure once, her misery now) 
Fair Theodora's soft attention drew 
To other thoughts, to realms and pastimes new; 
What time her sire (his first obedience done) 
Silent return'd to Moscow's barren throne : 
But as their sweeping oars the sailors plied, 
Wolga, with whirling eddies black and wide, 
Absorb'd the bark she prest and whelm'd her in his 

Thus, the last fibre broken that conjoin'd 
Timourshah with the rest of human kind, 


From intercourse of man the sage retir'd, 

And brooded on the thoughts his grief inspir'd . 

Nor had he deign'd that sorrow to forego, 

Had Sarra never seen a foreign foe, 

And public fear prevail'd o'er private woe : 

But when a pow'r, by greatness uncontroll'd, 

Was found from war Cambuscan to withhold ; 

When Sarra's foes without denounced her fall, 

And inexperience rul'd within her wall ; 

Upstarting from his solitude, again 

The hoary warrior sought the haunts of men, 

And wiping from his mind all chances past, 

Firm, as in former perils, stood at last. 

e Oh Algarsife!' he said, ' if heav'n have wilPd 

e That ev'n so soon the King to fate must yield, 

c Heav'n too has wilPd that thy career of fame 

' Begun, like his, in youth, should blaze the same, 

' And gild Ginghiscan's race with double flame, 

c The servant of thy Sire behold in me — 

' All who ador'd Cambuscan, cling to thee. 

' Occasion now calls hastily — let all 

' Or in the spring of life, or in the fall, 

e Shew now the little strength their limbs may boast; 

' And, if not vigor, courage string your host. 

f I, on whose forehead channeled age appears, 

( (Though more impair'd by sorrow than by years) 

f To younger hands the van of war resign ~ 

' The care of Sarra's sacred domes be mine.— 



•' <jlive then to well-prov'd faith, and to the skill 
f Which practice yields, not merit ; give to fill 
( That station, which no Tartar long has known, 
f To guard the ramparts of the menac'd town/ 

* What? is Timourshah, then, the fittest man/ 
Said Erbol, e to protect the royal train ? 

< Will Algarsife for such a function choose 
c A moody, discontented, sour recluse, 

' Who, with his child, to sepulture consign'd 

' The best affections of the human mind, 

f And lives a stain to charity, a foe 

' To all, who social bliss and union know? 

' Is he, who has not now a tie that draws 

' His loyalty to thine or any cause, 

' More fit for such a charge, than one whose kin 

' Share in this place the fortunes of the Queen?' — 

f Shame on thy lips profane !' Timourshah cried, 

' Am 1 disloyal, if my children died ? 

e Am I denied to bring the throne relief, 

' Because its bounties fail'd to sooth my grief? 

e Are there no ties a patriot soul that bind 

* To his own soil, but pledges left behind ? 

< Perhaps to thee there are not— Algarsife, 
1 It shames me to be one in such a strife : 

' My claim I drop : nor would a sceptre wield, 

< If one, the meanest, thought my hand unsknTd.— 
' But trust not Erbol— tho' his warmth may please — 
e He cannot be sincere — in times like these 

1 None but rank traitors fancy treacheries/ 


f Oh good old Lord !' the Prince with smiles replied, 

f Thy breast can never be to fraud allied. — 

' With rapture we proclaim thy service prov'd, 

' And hail thee, as Cambuscan's best belov'd : 

' The charge be thine: and let us deem that youth 

6 Misguided, and no flaw in loyal truth, 

From Erbol this injurious challenge wrung: 

* For zeal is thoughtless and of fro ward tongue.' — 
e Not so !' exclaim'd fair Canace, ' not so — 

' The truth of each let Acban's index shew. — 

< The virtues of his ring myself have tried 

' Ah ! would his Courser's pow'r could be denied : 
( Then right before these Chiefs his mirror hold, 
' And the deep-working of their thoughts unfold.' — 

What? by a traitor's present, noble Dame,' 
Said Erbol, ' do you try a Tartar's fame ? 

"' Such hateful arts a king should ne'er employ, 

* But, as the bane of confidence, destroy.' — 
( Oh ! bring it,' cried Timourshah ; c Honesty, 

1 If heav'n shall probe it, will on heav'n rely > 
' And any fraud of hell with scorn defy.' 
This said, th' imperial beauty gave command, 
Majestic turning to her menial band; 
To give the pow'rful mirror to her hand : 
Forward Timourshah stept— the younger knight 
Disclaim'd acquittance built on magic sleight; 
And turning. his black features, stood aloof 
To shield his treason from that open proof. 


But when, within the mirror, Canace 

Might the just image of Timourshah see, 

Not alter'd in expression, feature, shade, 

Nor aught, gloss'd over, by the glass betray 'd, 

To all the honest portraiture she shew'd, 

And ev'ry good man's heart with pleasure glow'd. 

Then thus — ' Will Erbol yet refuse to see 

( The sanction of this Knight's integrity? 

t He who has blam'd, should be the first to seize 

( Th' occasion to retract his calumnies ; 

' And though the pride of Erbol's mighty name 

( Such idle exculpation may disclaim, 

' Yet will he joy to see this Lord abide 

{ The test, by which my weakness wish'd him tried. 

She spoke, insidious: Erbol, anxious now 

Timourshah's faith retracting to allow 

(For the rash charge by flattery to atone, 

And praising one man's fealty, salve his own,) 

Mov'd hastily — the Princess chang'd her place 

And on the polish'd surface caught his face : 

Ah! whosoe'er has known some thoughtless child 

Suck death from berries, by their bloom beguil'd ; 

Or whosoe'er has watch'd the varying mien 

Of Nature, in some rich, sequester'd scene, 

Where the same objects different hues assume 

As lighten'd by the Sun, or wrapt in gloom, 

He knows that features, still the same, may wear 

Expression, chang'd at once to foul from fair. 


Quick, as the rays from Erbol's rnanly face 

His image in the glass began to trace, 

The portraiture confus'd th' observers saw, 

As if within the mirror lurk'd a flaw ; 

And though resemblance just the image bore, 

A dark, dilated look the features wore, . 

That something foul and horrible designed, 

And by his monstrous visage mark'd his monstrous 

The gazers from the glass affrighted flew, 
Ev'n Erbol shrunk with horror at the view; 
And, e Curse on all who frame, and all who trust 
' Such baubles, to degrade the brave and just'— 
He cried, impetuous : then with furious look 
And hasty footsteps from th 7 assembly broke, 
And to his muster'd bands the way he took. 

But Algarsife, confirm'd and not inform'd, 
Wreck'd not how fierce the treacherous warrior 

storm'd ; 
And instant in unblazon'd arms prepar'd, 
Attentive to each post, the town to guard. 
The tender youth, too weak of limb to bear 
The toilsome service of external war, 
Upon the wall he plac'd ; and join'd to these 
All whom life's chill decline began to freeze. 
To that weak state in which his race began, 
Soon, soon returns the meteor strength of man : 



The glories of the sky in boundless space 
Roll, in due cycles, to the self-same place, 
And still unfading the same path repeat. — 
Man sets for ever, one short course complete I 
Thus, with the shew of war the rampart lin'd, 
Among his troops the Prince the field assign'd. 
At distance, on the right, the hollow way 
That shelter'd Aulum's secret progress, lay : 
Thither, the covert of those rocks beneath 
To fill the brakes with unexpected death, 
An ambush Algarsife dispatch'd in haste, 
And at its head the Russian monarch plac'd. 
Ah confidence undue ! but none might see 
Wolodimir, and think conspiracy 
Lurk'd in the silver vesture of his age : 
So manly was his look, and all his words so sage. 
Yet by the daughter's love the Prince was led ; 
Honouring the Sire, to her his court he paid : 
And all approv'd the choice : the Muscovite 
Half arm'd, excell'd in desultory fight: 
And that rough ground, impervious to the horse, 
No scope afforded to a solid force ; 
But for light skirmish all the place was fit, 
Conceal'd th' attack, and shelter'd the retreat. 
Then through the ranks the youthful leader rode 
Observant, and commands on all bestow'd, 
On all, save Erbol : him, detested long, 
His prudence left unnotic'd in the throng; 


For though his love alledg'd for Cambalo 
Might salve his late offending, and allow 
Some charge of trust his rank to signalize; 
Too plain the glass had mark'd his treacheries. 
Then Algarsife (in ranks dispos'd the rest) 
Thus in a modest tone the troops addrest : 
' Soldiers ! it fits not me, with ardent words 
f To whet the temper of your veteran swords ; 
' Rather 'tis yours to cast a doubtful eye 
' When a youth leads you, so unlearn'd as I. 
c But let the mournful cause, that gives ye me 
c For him, whose very voice was victory, 
( Heal my defects : that yon base wretch may feel 
c Your valour compensates my want of skill. 
c Now hear my solemn pledge, in open day: 
c And as I keep it, scorn me or obey. 
' Wherever dire mischance may seem to threat ; 
( Where'er the troops are broken or retreat ; 
e Wherever Aulum storms, or Acban fights, 
c Wherever Danger shrieks, or Fame invites> 
* There shall a ye still observe this virgin plume ; 
' The star to guide ye through the battle's gloom. 
e Muse not that I, whom now ye call your King, 
' Omit the magic sabre forth to bring. 

a There shall, &c] This idea is taken from the well-known speech 
©f Henry IVth of France. 


* Within the royal tomb is plac'd the sword ; 

c None may that gate unbar, but Sarra's Lord : 

c And I, though call'd her Lord, will yet refrain ; 

( For my heart whispers, that I do not reign. 

' But if I do — Cambuscan never fought 

' With arms unholy, by enchantment wrought : 

c The spells he trusted in his bosom sate : 

c His be my sword, for him I emulate. 

€ Nor shall the sheath again its lustre shade, 

' TillOphir's richest blood have smok'd upon its blade/ 

He ceas'd : the squadrons rais'd a general cry 
That echo'd far and wide along the sky, 
And startled in his rank the stedfast enemy. 
But Algarsife that instant gave the word, 
And the troops forward, like a deluge, pour'd. 
He all the diffidence of youth laid by ; 
Loud was his voice, and piercing was his eye ; 
A perfect leader ev'ry act betray'd, 
Cambuscan's heir, and born to be obey'd. 
The Chiefs with wonder saw the sudden change ; 
How keen his mind would o'er the battle range; 
Each want forestal, each chance of danger weigh, 
And scan in thought the waverings of the day. 
For, on the sudden now by perils prest, 
War's various art unfolded in his breast; 
And, in each knightly grace and science skill'd, 
He shone at once the wonder of the field. 



Thus when the tepid gales in early Spring 

Wave o'er the slumbering earth their genial wing, 

From the oak's utmost root its vital flood 

Swells through the trunk, and forms the knotty hud, 

Where, perfect in its shape, the foliage lies; 

But waits the influence of serener skies, 

To hurst its narrow dwelling, and unfold 

Its form complete, and verdure ting'd with gold. 

Now, as one mass compact, each army swept 
Onward, and each a dreadful silence kept : 
As when two clouds in summer's heat appear 
Charg'd with the seeds of elemental war, 
Louring, from adverse points they slowly sail, 
And stillness overcomes the languid gale. — 

So, terrible in silence, either host 
Marching, the middle space was quickly lost : 
While in the rest his spear each horseman set 
And, far before the others, furious met. 
Their shiver'd staffs the air with splinters fill'd, 
And all the shock confess'd and backward reel'd, 
As when*, by whirlwinds driv'n, the Pontic Isles < 
Clash: upward flies the spray and each recoils. 

b As when, &c] The Cyanean rocks, or Symplegades, are situated 
near the mouth of the Bosphorus, in the Euxine ; and were supposed to 
float and be dashed against each other by storms. The notion of their 
floating may have arisen (as some travellers say) from their appearing 
very differently situated, with relation to each other, as a ship passes 
within sight of them. Pliny enumerates them among the islands in Pon- 
tus, or the Euxine Sea. 


Among the Tartars, Cambal, new to blood, 

Smil'd o'er the scene and not inactive stood : 

Headlong he rush'd amid the thickest foe, 

And Death obedient follow'd ev'ry blow; 

Like one to slaughter us'd he seem'd to fare, 

And claim'd an instant fellowship with war. 

As when c , from thirsty Zaara, on her wings 

The Pelican her giant offspring brings, 

And, many a desert travers'd, stoops again 

Upon the sounding borders of the main ; 

The chaos of the surge each youngling braves, 

By nature taught, and riots in the waves : 

Thus Cambal through the swelling carnage strode, 

And scarce the boldest such an onset stood. 

Him, from the adverse lines Al-Kabal view'd, 
Mad with the relish of new-tasted blood : 
Straight, images of triumph filPd his mind; 
And, through the squadrons glancing like the wind, 
Above the din of battle loud he cried, 
And the brave youth to single fight defied : 
For deathless wreaths Al-Kabal deem'd to bear 
From one so worthy of his maiden spear. 

c As when, &c] The Pelicans breed in the desert, and after the 
season of incubation repair to the ocean. Whether the common opinion, 
that they bring down their young to the shore before the latter can fly, 
and then the unfledged brood betake themselves to the waters, be true, 
or whether they fly thither when able, is not very material ; for their in- 
stinctive acquaintance with that element is the same in both cases. 



Instant his course the Tartar warrior staid; 
And turning short the awful call obey'd: 
As when the falc'ner's whistle strikes the ear 
Of his keen hawk, just pouncing on the deer, 
Quick, as from polish'd brass is thrown the light, 
She turns, and backward wings her willing flight; 
So sharply Cambal rein'd his bounding steed, 
And couch'd his lance anew, and paus'd from those 

- that fled: 
While th' Ophirian troops their ranks repair'd, 
And all the line alike the battle shar'd ; 
War's fury wider spread less terrible appear'd. 
Thus if or chance, or will, a stream obstruct, 
Drawn from its channel through some narrow duct 
Where deep and strong it roll'd with rapid course 
Lending to labour artificial force ; 
Again, upon a wider surface spread, 
It gently murmurs in its antient bed. 

It chanc'd that Cambal urg'd his furious way 
Where late the victims of his valour lay, 
And all around a slippery, slimy mass 
Of gore and entrails mixt, defil'd the grass. 
There floundering midway in the fierce career, ^ 
Down fell both horse and man : the beamy spear > 
Doubling beneath him, snapt — Al-Kabal near J 
The chance observed, and rein'd his eager steed, 
And lightly vaulted on the purpled mead— ^ 


( I wage no war with those whom chance o'er- 

throws' — 
He said — ' Fame springs not but from equal foes : 
' If hurt, oh Chief ! go safely from the fight ; 
' Thy trophies won display no vulgar knight : 
f But, if uninjur'd still thy strength remain, 
' Behold me here dismounted on the plain : 
f Gladly my arm the glittering spear resigns, 
* Since none oppos'd of equal terror shines ; 
( And my good sword shall purchase fame alone, 
' Or add one wreath to those by thee already won/ 

The Prince at last discumber'd, up he sprung 
And from his hand the broken weapon flung : 
At once black choler boiling in his breast, 
And with the warrior's courtesy opprest — 
c Sir Knight/ he said, ' no outward bruise I find : 
' The deadly hurt I feel is in my mind. 
' Thy courtesy, whatever blow I strike, 
' Upon my feeling heart will grave the like ; 
c And, should my arms with victory be crown'd, 
f Thy name will more than mine be still renown'd.' 

Closing, the combat equal stood awhile ; 
The strength of Cambal match'd Al-Kabal's skill ; 
And both with caution struck and steady eye, 
More earnest to defend than to annoy, 
Till Cambal, sudden, with a backward blow 
The guard eluded of his active foe, 
And from Al-Kabal's arm the blood was seen to flow 


care : — "j 

>ul is war — V 

eyeballs glare : J 


Oh ! what a throng of passions swell'd his heart, 

ExcelPd in strength and overmatch'd in art, 

And the first knight encounter'd, doom'd to wear 

Th' expected trophies of his maiden spear ! 

As the gaunt Lioness, in covert found 

Lurking with her defenceless whelps around, 

To them alone her savage thoughts extends, 

Nor forward springs, hut as she flies defends, 

Till distant darts arrest her infant care : — 

Then caution dies — then all her soul 

Then her fangs foam and then her eyeballs gl 

So fierce Al-Kabal on the Tartar flew — 

To meet so fierce a foe the Tartar knew; 

And with such horror rag'd the mortal fight 

That ev'ry soldier paus'd and wonder'd at the sight : 

Till, careless both to ward, and both intent 

To strike, their shields, their helms, their hauberks 

Red conquest hovering with impartial wings, 
And the blood spouting from a thousand springs, 
Each fighting on the ground where first he stood, 
Nor either yet subduing or subdued, 
At once each warrior aim'd a final blow, 
Heedless of that impending from his foe; 
Full at the neck his sword Al-Kabal drove-— 
The sword stopt shorter, and the shoulder clove * 
Beneath the arm the Tartar aim'd too well^ 
Both struck together, both together fell, 


Both side by side bereft of motion lay, 

Both by their speechless troops were slowly borne 

Erbol, for he (while Cambal fought) stood by 
And watch'd the combat with malicious eye, 
Now of the chance to Etha tidings brought, 
And her too ready ear, insidious, taught 
How Can ace from Sarra might be lur'd, 
And safely by th' Ophirian chief secur'd. 
Then culling from the host his trusted crew 
To Acban's ensign o'er the field withdrew: 
Acban of all the specious lure he told ; 
Then in th' Ophirian bands his troops enroll'd. 
But Algarsife, who, when the fight began, 
Stood foremost, blazing in the Tartar van, 
And first distain'd the ground with blood of man, 
Incens'd the rebel's treacherous act beheld, 
And loud reproach'd him as he pass'd the field — 
f Fly traitor ! hope not Acban shall requite, 
e But speedy vengeance overtake, thy flight—* 
c Whoe'er betrays her, when his country calls, 
9 Scorn'd by mankind, by heav'n detested falls.' — 
Furious he spoke, and couch'd his gleaming spear, 
And claim'd the traitor from the furthest rear : 
Impetuous through th' obstructing ranks he rode, 
And with stunn'd steeds and men his pathway 

strow'd ; 



But never paus'd, nor stopt, nor look'd aside, 
Till Erbol midst his rebel band he spied, 
And, with a voice that knell'd his fate, defied. 
Then, aiming low his lance with level true, 
The horse, roll'd backwards, on the plain he threw, 
And through base ErboPs breast a passage tore, 
And shew'd the spear beyond him, dropping gore : 
Then scorning the vile crew, whom fear compel I'd 
In heaps confus'd and shuddering on the field, 
Back with a solemn pace the Prince inclin'd ; 
And sometimes stopt, and cast a frown behind 
That all their strength unstrung and wither'd ev'ry 

As when, on Snowden's brow, the Goats invite 
Th' imperial Eagle from his lofty flight, 
One from the huddled flock he stoops to seize, 
Then spreads his vans again and mounts upon the 

Etha meantime, with well-feign'd anguish, told 
To Canace the fate of Cambal bold : 
' Oh ! haste,' she said, ' oh ! snatch him from the 

' Ere seal'd by Eate's irrevocable doom— 
' That Ring was surely brought by heav'n's command 
e To save the dearest life in Sarra's land — 
c Oh, haste! on him its wond'rous virtues try— 
c The prayers of all thy pow'rful aid shall buy.' 



r Yes; I will go:' she said, ( if yet he breathe 

' My pow'r shall snatch him from untimely death : 

e This Ring experience now determines true— 

' Ah ! would the other gifts as well we knew. 

Sighing, she paus'd: then thus—' What friendly care 

' Convey'd my brother from the fields of war ? 

( Where lies he now ? on the tumultuous plain, 

r Or borne to Sarra by his duteous train?' 

' Not yet in Sarra/ artful Etha said, 

< Too weak to move, he on the grass is laid ; 

' Apart, where yet untrod the herbage grows, 

' In yon cool shade his languid limbs repose : 

e Ev'n, so good fortune wills, in yonder glade 

' Where late thy ring the healing plant display 'd. 

' Speed we, while any sparks of life remain : 

e One moment lost not years of grief regain.' 

Prudence, the guard of man's unruffled hour, 
The softer passions melt, the strong o'erpow'r: 
And Canace, though fear, like hers awake, 
At such a daring step alarm might take, 
Though the dark plots of that eventful time 
Might justify the dread of secret crime, 
Lost in one tender wish all cautious doubt, 
Fearing nor fraud within, nor force without, 
Her ev'ry thought employing, ere too late, 
Cambal to find and stay the hand of fate. 

Rising, her step she to the portal bent; 
Her maids attending follow'd where she went ; 


And, issuing, hurried to the lonely glade 

Where Cambal's bleeding limbs, she deem'd, were 

But ah ! she found in that sequester'd place 
No brother stretch'd, and none of Tartar race : 
Acban, the traitor, with his knights was there ; 
Acban, the traitor, clasp'd the trembling fair; 
Acban, the traitor, that dark shade conceal'd, 
Acban, whose arm was strong, whose heart was steePd. 
Aghast she stopt: — o'er Etha's face she stole 
A piercing glance, that stript her guilty soul: 
And in an instant all the complex chain 
Of fraud, she saw 5 and all her fate was plain. ■ 
Oh ! chilling was the thought : no friend was by- 
She, whom she lov'd, her deepest enemy : 
Yet did her eye disdain to drop a tear; 
A Princess still she stood, majestic in despair. 
* Oh lady ! fear not ; in a blessed hour,' 
Smiling he said, f you sought this distant bow'r — 
< Think not a brother here your ring shall try— 
f Short was his date, and clos'd is Cambal's eye. 
' Acban, the stranger knight your court admir'd, 
f By Canace's unequalPd beauties fir'd, 
f Acban seduc'd you to this lonely grove; 
' And he, who can command it, begs your love. 
f Ev'n from the moment when aloft in state 
f (Where near Cambuscan's royal chair you sate) 


( Entering the joyous hall your charms I saw, 

' I lov'd — and Love observes no moral law : 

' Ev'n when I first beheld that form divine, 

' I vow'd to make such heav'nly beauties mine : 

c For as my name stands first in deeds of arms, 

' That eminence may claim the brightest charms.— 

' Think then my crimes (for crimes I freely own) 

' Sprung from your eyes, and sprung from them alone. 

' To Sana's court I came, a loyal knight, 

e A bold asserter of my sov'reign's right; 

' But loyalty and faith for you I broke ; 

' I came a warrior, but a lover spoke — 

' Threats, frowns, defiance faded from my mind : 

' Your matchless image only staid behind. 

c For you, great Aulum's wish at nought I set, 

c And sooth'd the monarch whom I came to threat; 

' Nor did one thought my fervid bosom move, 

( But to prolong my stay, and win your love. 

' But, lady ! Fate (and Fate obstructs the best, 

6 Still eager from their end our plans to wrest) 

c Fate came between, my purpose to impede, 

€ And urg'd your sire to mount the Brazen Steed 

f Untutor'd, yet, to guide that magic frame; 

( And with my credit overthrew my claim. 

' But from Cambuscan's fate my soul is pure ; 

' He owes it to his rashness, too secure 

' And fain to think that strength the steed could rein-^- 

*■ And still he onward flies, nor can his course restrain. 


6 Oh ! let not then your heart with rage be flr'd, 
c Nor blame deceit, which love alone inspir'd : 
' Oh ! gracious bend ; and to a husband yield 
* What by a lover's force may be compell'd : 
' So shall at once the battle's fury cease, 
' And the fierce nations join in lasting peace; 
' So shall your race remain, and Algarsife 
e Enjoy, with honours long, his forfeit life. 
e Well may you deem, by all my art has done, 
c By the gifts laid before Cambuscan's throne, 
f That by no vulgar knight your hand is sought — 
1 Fame, wealth, and pow'r, my valorous deeds have 

bought : 
' And if your kind assent my wishes crown, 
' The splendors of the east shall be your own. 
' Nay more, obedient to my pow'rful call 
' Aerial treasures at your feet shall fall ; 
< Unfading joys shall bless your mortal span, 
e And Genies in your service vie with man.' 
The arch deceiver spoke ; and o'er his brow 
Love seem'd a shade of tenderness to throw ; 
And his keen eyes with double fire to glow : 
But Canace, while hate her bosom fill'd, 
And fear of ills to come yet urg'd to yield, 
Some moments paus'd ; her bosom torn between 
Dread of his power and horror at his sin. — 
Just at that moment o'er the traitor's head 
(On air impress'd) Maimoune's pow'r display'cL 


The selfsame form (unseen of all but her) 

The dream had shewn in fancied portraiture : 

There was the scowl, that hell within him shew'd : 

The eyes of flame, the vesture dy'd in blood. 

And villainy by ev'ry mark exprest, 

That once alarm'd, but now consol'd her breast. 

Well, from the vision of the morn, she read 

And from those features hung o'er Acban's head, 

(Sad contrast to the softness on his brow 

And a sure index of the frauds below), 

That some good being for her safety wrought; 

And Acban's real mind by pageants taught 

To warn her of the snares his treachery wove, 

Using for foulest ends the soothing tones of love. 

Then, trusting in that unknown pow'r, whose care 

Her vision prov'd and that embodied air, 

With resolution firm she arm'd her heart, 

But temper'd what she said with prudent art. 

Thus Canace replied ; f The speech I hear 

( My grief allays not, though it calms my fear. 

( On Cambal's wound 1 thought my ring to prove — 

f You tell me he is dead — and yet you talk of love ! 

( Suits it a knight of gentle heart, like you, 

* At such an hour as this for love to sue 

' From Canace, the sport of cruel fate, 

' Intruding on her thoughts the marriage state, 

€ When her great sire is lost, her brother slain, 

f And Sarra menac'd by an hostile train ? 


' To turn those arms were truer courtesy, 

' Which, menacing my country, menace me ; 

' And still the storm which threats the brother's life, 

€ Ere yet you claim the sister as your wife. 

{ My heart nor doubts your worth, nor doubts nor seeks 

* Those unknown joys, of which your passion speaks : 
e But know, Sir Knight! through all the wide domain 
' From far d Cipango to the Pontic Main; 

* The Lama e , still renewing, all adore ; 

' The sage vicegerent of supernal pow'r. 

r His sacred precepts sink in ev'ry mind ; 

c And all our thoughts and all our actions bind : 

' But, long of yore, those holy lips forbad 

' The nuptial rites to any Tartar maid, 

' Till (if her sire should live) her sire had smil'd 

' His wish'd assent, and bless'd his duteous child. 

( If then too soon we mourn Cambuscan's death, 

e If yet, though distant far, that monarch breathe : 

d From Jar, &c] Japan is called Cipango by Marco Polo. The 
Lama is in fac-- acknowledged as far as the Japanese sea to the east, and 
by some tribes as far as Russia west. 

e The Lama, &c] The Lama is not considered as a divinity, but as 
a sovereign pontiff, whose soul is always present, animating the frame 
of an Infant, when dismissed from that body it late inspired ; and so- mi- 
grating to other human forms in succession: a sort of perennial Pope, 
The infant is generally recognized soon after the death of the old Lama r 
by certain signs which the principal officers of that court pretend to find ; 
in consequence (as is supposed) of a previous agreement among them- 
selves, in what family the dignity for that time shall be vested. 


e Till his return our union shall allow, 

' My lips shall ne'er pronounce the marriage vow: 

' Ne'er, till that vow infringe not heav'n's decree, 

c Shall bridal torch illume the fane for me : 

' And if you truly love, your art will find 

' Some spell, the Courser's winged speed to bind ; 

* That, grateful all to you for his return, 

\ My sire's consent may gild our marriage morn/ 
' Oh lady !' Acban cried, ' 'twere double pain 
' To think your sire should e'er return again. 
' Once have you mourn'd him, and abortive hope 
e A second source of equal grief will ope : 
' For he has reach'd his fate's extremest bourn ; 
f Never, ah never! fated to return. 
( He vainly (for he scorn'd my words to hear) 
i Deems the sole spring is lodg'd in either ear : 
' But, though the right the turning hand obeys, 
' Ruling the springs the horse that upward raise, 
1 Immoveable, the left all force withstands : 
' One only screw its motive pow'r commands: 
( And never can the uninstructed mind 

* That master screw o'er all the fabric find. 
' Hid in the centre of the head it lies, 

' At equal distance fixt between the eyes ; 
c And the left eye-lid a small spring conceals, 
( Which locks the motion of the secret wheels : 
' And that once slightly press'd, the wheels within 
( Give life and motion to the secret pin. 


* But hope not, lovely mourner ! hope not thou 
c That heav'n this chance of safety may allow. 

c Then wait not his return— that thought be o'er-^ 
' Heav'n smiles not on him, and he reigns no more. 
' Thou then my wishes crown, oh royal Maid ! 
c If softer pity fail, let fear persuade — 

* 'Tis true, my love, my life, my soul is yours— 
c But never warrior woman's scorn endures — 

' If to my suit your yielding heart incline, 
' A general peace the blest assent shall sign : 
' If not — behold these knights in fierce array— 

* Who scorns to be my wife must be my prey — 
' Nay, did yon rampart still thy charms secure, 

f Think'st thou 'twould long my conquering force 

' Think'st thou the Tartar domes would long remain, 

* Their prince, their nobles, and their armies slain ? 
' Oh ! take the love, oh ! take the grace J give — 

' And let thy kindred, name, and empire live— 
< Else the next sun must rise on thy disgrace, 
' And gild the carnage of thy destin'd race.' 

Thus while, unus'd, the truth he deign'd to show, 
Fiend like, that evil ev'n from truth might flow, 
Sensations, differing far from what he thought, 
In Canace his dark prediction wrought: 
And from his gloomiest words some hope she stole.^ 
And distant comfort faintly warm'd her soul : 



As, when collected clouds obscure the light, 
And menace mortals with eternal night, 
Burst by their forky offspring,, to the view 
The chasm discloses tints of azure hue. 
For when he told the secret, to impede 
The upward motion of that dang'rous steed, 
The means in her strong fancy seem'd to spring 
To use that secret, and redeem the king. 
With art unwonted (for Maimoune then 
Breath'd o'er her and refin'd her troubled brain) 
The Princess spoke — ' Thy planet rules the hour : 
' Resistance boots not, unsupplied with pow'r— 
' Yet let not eager haste, Sir Knight ! disgrace 
( A Princess, not the meanest of her race : 
1 Let honourable robes my limbs invest; 
c Let solemn rites our nuptial vows attest ; 
( And Elfeta (her lord for ever gone) 
' A daughter's marriage bless, and save a son. 
{ Thou, while to Sarra speeds my hasty step, 
€ From fresh assault the savage forces keep; 
' But from the ears of rumour careful hide 
' That Can ace prepares to be thy bride. — 
( Here stay — one little hour is all I crave: 
( Then wed me like a Princess, not a slave/ 

She said ; and called her train and left the glade- 
Acban remained, and scornful thus he said : 
( Weak woman, go ! thou think'st to be my wife 
( Unspotted, and redeem thy brother's life; 


* That I to aid me Hell and Earth compell'd, 
c A husband's distaff at thy beck to wield ; 
' Deeming thy charms an empire's blaze above, 
' And all my deeds attributing to love. 
' Yes, thou shalt wed : but ere I make thee mine, 
' Thy Algarsife his being shall resign. 
s He shall not live to tax me with this deed, 
e And claim that empire which is Acban's meed. 
6 One little hour she craves— one little hour 
' Shall see her brother floating in his gore : 
*" And he dispatch'd, and Canace a bride, 
r By whom shall Acban's title be denied ? 
' Will Aulum doubt it ? let him doubt who dares — 
' My crown who questions, his own tomb prepares — 
( Hence — yonder tumult points me out the way — 
( Win fame, oh Algarsife ! while yet you may— *■ 
g But some remain, to guard the royal maid 
e If she return ere Acban's part be play'd.'— 
He spoke — and mounting, with a whirlwind's speed 
Rush'd to the thickest fight and thunder'd o'er the 
But while in amorous parley Acban stood, 
War frown'd more horrid, stain'd with dust and blood. 
Aulum but little time to sorrow spar'd 
At the sad fate which brave Al-Kabal shar'd : 
' Well hast thou prov'd thyself great Ophir's son/ 
He said, ' but my applause too dearly won : 


' Yet ere night thicken, many a Tartar slave 

( Shall tend his ejhost who mark'd thee for the <* ; 

' Their hope, their Algarsife, shall curse the hour 

e That cropt the promise of thy opening flow'r ; 

e And all the desolated North shall learn 

* That kingdoms blaze to grace a Prince's urn. 

c No more' — with him his mightiest warriors clos'd, 

Rush'd on and bore down all things that oppos'd — 

As when (enrich'd by many a swelling tide 

That rolls unseen from Andes' desert side) 

Maragnon, f like a mighty ocean, pours 

Through realms unheard of by the adverse shores; 

To his enormous force th' Atlantic leaves 

Free passage, and rolls back his broken waves. 

Loud as the trumpet's voice the monarch cried 

On Algarsife; him singly still defied 

To combat, of unbroken lists assur'd; 

And b} r the flitting souls of both the knights adjur'd. 

But Algarsife, by dearer ties compell'd, 

Fought in the distant quarter of the field. 

For when the Tartar forces first were drawn 

From Sarra's wall, and marshall'd on the lawn ; 

f Maragnon, &c ] In Harris's Col. Voy. vol. i. is the account of a 
voyage to South America, by Mr. Harcourt, of Stanton Harcourt; in 
which it is observed, that thirty leagues at sea, off the mouth of the 
Maragnon, or river of the Amazons (which is probably the widest, if nofc 
the largest river in the world), the water is fresh: the impulse of the 
stream keeping off the ocean. 


Wolodimir the plans of future fight 

Revolving, and of Theodora's flight, 

Bad yoke the palfreys to her car of state,, 

And willed the damsel on the plain to wait, 

To mark the chiefs their thickening lines prepare; 

(Her soul delighted in the pomp of war;) 

That she, as by degrees the squadrons fill'd 

The swells and hollows of the nearer field, 

Some further distance from the town might win, 

And in the rolling dust her progress screen. 

But when the prince (no doubts the generous stir) 

The ambush trusted to Wolodimir, 

The monarch pour'd in Theodora's ear 

Dark words, but such as fill'd her soul with fear — 

' Thou on our march attend ; some compass make ; 

' Beyond the ken of Sana's wall o'ertake 

' Thy father — for at hand is now the hour 

f When Russia shall resume her antient pow-'r/ 

Muttering, he spoke : the cloud that overspread 

His visage, settled on his daughter's head ; 

And while, with ease assum'd, he form'd his band, 

On her Despondence laid his icy hand. 

Fain would she think the risk of war was all 

She dreaded, lest her much lov'd sire should fall; 

A tie, yetunacknowledg'd, bound her heart: 

Loath was the dame from Algarsife to part: 

His form, his face, the virtues of his mind, 

A little had her lofty thoughts inclin'd ; 


And from the martial energy that play'cf 

(Omen of future glory) round his head, 

A hero's excellence her hope could scan 

Mixt with the gentler attributes of man. 

Silent she heard her sire, and silent pour'd 

Her sorrows, for she fear'd a parent's word : 

And climbing on her chariot, many a look 

She cast behind ; and many a farewel took ; 

And scarce she rais'd her lash and scarce the reins 

she shook, 

But quicker than she wish'd the chariot flew ; 
Soon dusty spires hid Sarra from her view; 
Soon to the Russian troops she came ; and soon 
A wood of well-known spears around her shone. 
Then issuing forth, the monarch gave command 
To spread the banner of his native land — 
< Again, my soldiers! see this banner wave — 
' What needs the brave man speak, to urge the brave? 
f Whoe'er a Tartar hurls upon the plain, 
' He breaks a link in Russia's hateful chain. — 
' With ye are all the hopes of Russia's crown — 
1 Ere by Cambuscan spoil'd, I had a son ! 
' Now, while we haste yon sable troops to join, 
'■ All, allj your arms to save this maid combine/ — 
He said — the loyal band with loud acclaim 
Hail'd him once more their King and throng'd around 

the Dame. 

:line } 

line, v 



But from the centre where the royal plume 
Appear'd, a Pharos z in the battle's gloom, 
The Prince with anguish mark'd the Russian train 
Unfold their numbers on the open plain ; 
He mark'd their banner, mark'd their march incline 
Far from their destin'd post, towards Aulum's lii 
And mark'd upon the car a female form divine. 
Frenzied he cried — ' Oh Tamugin ! look there — 

• The Muscovites in Erbol's treason share— 

c Haste — let th' unlook'd for chance our coursers 
wing — 

* This post be Barka's care — but save the King.' 
He said — to intercept the march they flew— 
And clouds of dust obscur'd them from the view 
As when in Lybia's deserts sands are seen 
Whirling, all fly ; for death is hid within — 

So, as the cloud extended, all gave way 

And Russia stopt and thicken'd her array. 

But Amda, when that onset he beheld, 

Quick from the flank with bands selected wheel'd, 

And, while in front the Russian couch'd his spear, 

Hemm'd in the Prince and hung upon his rear: 

And havock chang'd her place, and all the war 

But, active, at each post the chiefs were found ; 
All skill'd, all strong, and all in arms renown'd: 



was r 

g Appear'd, a Pharos, &c] The watch tower on the Island Pharos, 
off Alexandria, has given one liberty to call any beacon a Pharos. 


Here Tamugin, here Casan dreadful stood \ 

And Alaf, who might boast of royal blood: 

And Algarsife, by all th' assailants fear'd, 

Flam'd ev'ry where, and fatal still appear'd; 

As when from sulphurous clouds the bolt breaks forth, 

Where'er pale mortals gaze, east, west, south, north, 

The universal flash all scape denies, 

And shoots, where'er they turn, before their eyes. 

But most the youth against the Russians prest, 

Driv'n by the impulse reigning in his breast : 

For there, beneath the flag, in gallant state 

Enclos'd by warriors, Theodora sate. 

1 Behold !' he said, ' what deeds these ruffians try — 

( Love, faith, and honour, they at once defy — 

c Though fugitives they be, I only claim 

' The jewel they have stol'n, the Russian Dame:— 

e Yield her, barbarians ! and depart at will — 

c Or all, my vengeance, save the King, shall feel.' 

' Forbear rash Prince,' Wolodimir replied ; 

c Love and subjection are but ill allied. 

' Thy hopes upon eternal ice are thrown, 

c If ever thou didst look to be my son — 

f True, thou art royal, noble, fair and brave — 

' But Prince, remember! I was once thy slave. 

( Away— the blest occasion calls me on 

K And shews me once again Muscovia's crown.' 

He said, and gave the sign : the opening files 
On either flank spread round the Prince their toils, 


And hemm'd him close ; while wheeling from the rear 

Towards Aulum's troops her knights convey'd the fair : 

But not unseen of Algarsife — he flew 

Instant — he overtook, he struck, he slew. 

Nine times he whirl'd his dreadful sword around, 

And nine brave knights fell headless on the ground; 

As when some hind, in winter's pinching hour, 

For the gaunt ox prepares the well-dried store, 

Fast as he lifts his engine's iron jaw, 

Closing, it cuts at once the yielding straw ; 

So quick, so fatal, fell the Tartar sword : 

But all around the mingled squadrons pour'd 

And, as the fleetest came from either host, 

Panting, all order in pursuit was lost : 

Here Amda gave command, and Casan there— 

And close beside him old Wolodimir; 

All were on ev'ry side beset with foes ; 

Each at the soldier next him dealt his blows — 

While pressing still on Theodora's train 

Her the Prince tried to seize, but tried in vain 

For still fresh knights oppos'd, and still fresh knighl 

were slain. 
But Theodora, bending from her car, 
Hung on the various chances of the war, 
And watch'd each act of strength, each turn of sleight, 
And rivetted her eyes upon the Knight. 
Unnumber'd Tartars were by Amda kill'd ; 
Like pestilence, brave Alaf swept the field; 



Confusion doubled all the rage of war, 

And Acban's thrilling voice shot horror from afar. 

Fierce, as a griffin from Imaus' brow 
Darts headlong on his Arimaspian foe, 
The chief rush'd on — for Algarsife he came — 
But Algarsife fought only for the Dame ; 
And there so thick the living barrier stood, 
That not to Acban's force was way allowed: 
Yet, where he press'd, the storm so dreadful broke 
That all the battle to the centre shook : 
As when, beneath Calabrian mountains pent, 
The fiery deluge struggles for a vent, 
If earth's incumbent weight no passage leave 
For egress, far and wide the vallies heave. 
Alaf the warrior's fury first withstood, 
And first defil'd that mighty sword with blood. 
Useless the thick battalions made the spear, 
Since no void space remain'd for the career; 
But Alaf with both hands his lance upheld, 
And with such impulse thrust at Acban's shield, 
That the broad point within the targe was fixt, 
The double hides and steely boss betwixt. 
Then Acban — f I did think no blood should stain 
e My sword, till Algarsife himself were slain. 
' Ye force me, fools ! unwilling, now to draw 
. ' That steel, which gorges Death's insatiate maw: 
' But since ye thirst of Acban's arm to try, 
' Taste thou the first — thee dead , let thousands die.' 

St, ^ 


He spoke ; and lopping first, with sidelong blow, 
The lance, struck forward at th' astonished foe 
Thro' his bright helm the sweeping falchion past, 
Thro , neck and breast with steely rings encas'd 
Nor spent its force, but seam'd him to the waist 
Then, grimly smiling, on the rest he flew; 
And Tamugin, Cambuscan's friend, o'erthrew: 
As the brave warrior with his sword prepar'd 
(For broken was his shield) his breast to guard, 
Sheer through the blade the steel of Acban found 
Its way, and cleft his heart, and rolPd him on the 

No moment lost, he turn'd upon the crowd 
And deluges of blood around him flow'd : 
Thick, as successive chips from marble fly 
When on some block their skill the sculptors try, 
Arms, limbs, and heads in horrid show'rs around 
Leapt from his whirling sword, and strew'd the ground. 
Blind in his rage he struck with random force; 
Heaping the plain with many a Russian corse ; 
And, but the snowy turban mark'd a friend, 
Nought from his sword might Ophir's sons defend. 
With wretches far and wide the field was spread, 
Convuls'd and gasping, or already dead ; 
And desolation seem'd to reign alone 
Where late the gallant pomp of battle shone. 
As when descending rain to giant height 
Swells the soft grass, that April gives to light, 


And o'er the various plants, that fragrant blow, 
Sheds all the gayest tints of Iris' bow; 
Mindful of chill December's niggard reign, 
The broad scythe gleams o'er the devoted plain : 
Then Devastation triumphs o'er the scene ; 
And the deep dye at once of Summer green, 
And flow'rs, ah ! fair to form the rustic wreath — 
Fade to the languid hue of withering death. , 

Amda meantime, who first the motion view'd 
Of Algarsife, and first his steps pursued, 
Close to the band of Theodora fought 
And from the Prince himself new laurels sought. 
Alone he burnt to try the stern debate — 
Desire of glory urg'd him on, and Fate. 
' Oh Prince!' he said, i from meaner warfare stav— 
' A warrior calls thee — thou his call obey ! 
' I never sunk beneath a conqueror's blow; 
' Nor does a stronger arm thy valour know ; 
' Here, then, each meets in fight an equal mate ; 
c And here, if either fall, ennobled is his date/ 
Courteous he spoke : the Prince his course restrained, 
The call obey'd, but to reply disdain'd. 
One object only fill'd his ardent breast, 
They who, opposing, round the Princess prest, 
They were his only foes ; he scorn'd the rest. 
In gloomy silence turning to the war, 
Rage strung his arm, but laid his bosom bare ; 



For while on high he aim'd his glittering blade 

(Too careless of himself) at Amda's head; 

Brave Amda caught the moment, to assail ; 

And drew a stream of purple o'er his mail. 

c By honour thou wast led/ said Algarsife, 

( To tempt my sabre in this single strife — 

' Lo ! then, the honour that thy hopes have gain'd ! 

' The arms of Algarsife with gore distain'd. — 

£ Rest thou content — my turn is yet to come : 

' From thy vain-glorious challenge date thy doom/— 

He said ; and rush'd impetuous on the foe, 

No time allow'd to strike or ward a blow; 

As when four woodmen round some master oak 

Their axes ply, with one continued stroke, 

Though firm his stubborn fibres long remain, 

He shakes at last, and thunders to the plain ; 

So Amda overborne by strength, and stunn'd, 

Stoop'd his majestic stature to the ground: 

Senseless he fell, and scarr'd with gashes wide ; 

And his soul floated on the purple tide. 

Amazement seiz'd at once on ev'ry breast ; 

And Theodora scarce her praise supprest. 

But Aulum now, the noble Barka slain, 
Upon the broken troops press'd on amain. 
To Algarsife the broken troops retired ; 
His plume, at distance seen, their hopes inspir'd ; 
And hotter grew the fight : the King behind, 
With Acban and Wolodimir combin'd ; 


And, of the knights who girt the royal maid, 
The few who liv'd unwearied strength display'd. 
More close around the Prince the squadrons prest; 
Thin grew his ranks ; the space for fight decreas'd ; 
Groans, shrieks and clamour echo'd through the air 
And all was horror, tumult and despair. 


Ihus, while the fiends of war more dreadful grew, 

Their forms dilating, blacker in their hue, 

Fair Canace, releas'd, gave ample scope 

To the glad presage of exuberant hope. 

Well knew the Dame, the magic Ring had giv'n 

A messenger to scale the heights of heav'n : 

That Ring, though giv'n to her for ends unknown, 

Might yet restore Cambuscan to his throne ; 

That Steed, for ill prepar'd with many a charm, 

Bear to the fight the tempest of his arm ; 

And, as the order wise of earthly things 

Corn, the great good, from rankest compost brings, 

So Heav'n might by itself o'erturn the spell ; 

And blessings spring from stratagems of hell. 

Thus pondering in the silence of her thought 
(Her maids dismiss'd) the painted room she sought, 
And to the Falcon thus — f Not thou alone 
' Bow'd by misfortune's hand art doom'd to moan : 


' To me, oh bird ! has equal Heav'n assign'd 
r Ills unforeseen, and of no common kind. 
6 But as my hand all-seeing Mercy gave 
' Thy woes to solace, and thy life to save ; 

* So may it give to thy unwearied wing 

* To chase my sorrows, and restore a king. 

' Know, from Cambuscan I derive my birth ; 

* The mightiest of the mighty powers on earth : 

* Him, first of those who liv'd but yesternight, 

* Has Heav'n hurl'd headlong from his glorious height; 
' And, while ensnar'd by wicked sorcery 

' He wanders in the azure fields on high, 

e War seeks these domes to level in the dust : 

f And Slavery, led by uurelenting Lust, 

* This ill-starr'd form has mark'd, the destin'd prey 

* Of him, whose magic sought my sire to slay. 
c A stranger knight but late to Sana came, 

( Whose courser mov'd in air, a brazen frame : 

c Dispatch'd (he said) from regions far away 

( To hail with gifts Cambuscan's natal day. 

f This courser, with unholy sigils made, 

' Was at Cambuscan's feet submissive laid : 

' In an ill hour 'twas giv'n ; and in a worse 

' (Which all good men in after times shall curse) 

' Th' impostor shew'd, or seemM to shew, the springs 

{ Which in his course supply external wings. 

* Alas! those secrets but in part he told; 

( Nor of substantial use did aught unfold ; 


e He shew'd, the hollow of each ear within, 

c Commodious to the touch, a golden pin ; 

( Of these, the left commands the screw that stays 

r His upward flight; the right, his weight can raise: 

* But though this pin, thro' which the Steed ascends, 

' To the first impulse of the hand attends, 

c Yet the depressing spring to none will yield, 

( Stubborn, till by a master screw compell'd 

' Which in the corresponding eye is hid ; 

e And moves not, till light pressure touch the lid. 

( But nothing of this spring Cambuscan knew: 

c Pleas'd with the gift, at once he upward flew, 

f The right ear touch'd ; but never shall descend, 

c Untutor'd how the master-screw to bend, 

1 Till some good spirit, borne on angel wing, 

( Compress the eye-lid and unlock the spring. 

' Thou then, oh Falcon ! whom this traitor's aid 

s Thro' me has giv'n again thy plumes to spread — 

' Oh use them — for thy heart can feel distress, 

( And grateful empires shall thy pinions bless — 

< Use them, to save the father of my race j 

f Him who alone can shield me from disgrace. 

s For who can shield me else ? a dreadful knight, 

' With whom the pow'rs of earth and hell unite, 

( Hangs o'er us, while our host his art deprives 

c Of its best hope ; one brother scarce survives, 

( And one (more blest perchance) no longer lives. 


ives. J 

4 Thee too, whose breast has felt the shaft of love, 
f The secret sorrows of my soul shall move : 
e A youth there is — he leads yon adverse line — 
' Whom Heav'n in visions has reveal'd as mine ; 
' And heav'n— - for sure my passion springs from 

heav'n — 
' My soul devoted to that youth has giv'n. 
' But Acban — he from whom our sorrows came — 
' He who perfidious gave the brazen frame — 
' He who in battle threatens Algarsife— 
' claims me, the purchase of that brother's life !— 
' Oh! speed thy blest assistance— rise on high, 
* And widely search yon sapphire canopy : — 
' Oh! drive thy air-borne strength against the spring, 
-' And, ere his life be lost, redeem the king! 
' Then, master of his course, that vengeful arm 
' Shall turn on Acban his infernal charm ; 
( Once yet again his conquering sword display, 
' And fix the doubtful fortune of the day.' 

Thus Canace — the Falcon brief return'd, 
' Enough — my willing ears enough have learn'd i 
' And may the monarch heal thy double woe, 
f As my quick flight my gratitude shall show.' 
Instant she rose; and from the chamber's height 
Gave to the buoyant air her plumy weight. 
Aloft upon her sounding wings she soar'd, 
And wheeling all around, the skies explor'd, 
Unseeing and unseen, in search of Sarra's lord. 



So when d Britannia late, by science led, 
Plough'd, many a dismal year, the wat'ry bed, 
Lands, imag'd long in theories, to explore 
And fix the bounds of ocean and of shore; 
Patient from clime to clime her Tiphys steer'd, 
Where ne'er the tones of human voice were heard ; 
Where nought was seen of nature's cheerful hue> 
And one sole bark held all the life he knew. 
Not with less ardour, less unconquer'd zeal, 
Through the wide aether did the Falcon wheel ; 
Far from the view of earth and earthly things, 
And only trusting to her sail-broad wings. 
Changing full oft her course, she quickly found 
(Where still his upward flight in spires he wound) 
The melancholy king : resigned to fate 
With his arms folded on the Steed he sate ; 
And, lowly bending to Heav'n's chast'ning hand,, 
He tried no more the courser to command. 
Thus pond'ring in his progress, he beheld 
The Falcon gliding through the azure field ; 
And ' what/ he mus'd, ' has drawn thy course so 

* Lost in the vast expanse of boundless air? 

a So when, &c] Alluding to the voyages of Captain Cook, in which 
(the second particularly) he frequently saw no horizon but sea for long 
intervals. Tiphys, the name of the pilot in the Argonautic expedition, is 
used by poets generally as a pilot of eminence, Vid. Serv. ad. Virg. Ec. 4. 


f Whence ne'er thy homeward journey thou can'st 

* Through the still uniformity of space, 

' And wand'ring, till thy vigorous pinions pine, 

( Must perish with a fate as sad as mine. 

( But thou, whose breast no rays of thought illume, 

e Blest with a soul unconscious of its doom, 

' Know'st not, how deep reflexion wounds the mind ; 

c Painting the pangs of mourners left behind, 

c Of thousands, calling vainly for thy aid, 

' Of a wife living, when proud foes invade ! 

6 Thou from the miseries of mind art free — 

* And half misfortune's page is blank to thee/ 

Thus while he mus'd, the Falcon took her course 
Above, on either side, below the horse, 
And with attention all the frame survey'd, 
Ere she to free the spring her effort made : 
While with amaze the King observ'd her flight. 
Nor aught of what she did escap'd his sight. 
Then high upon the left she sudden flew, 
And pounc'd upon the spring, with aim so true 
That all her weight upon the eye- lid press'd ; 
And that blest weight the master screw confess'd : 
For as th' elastic metal felt the stroke, 
The ear, now free to motion, slightly shook. 
At once the obvious change the King perceiv'd ; 
The omen of his safety quick receiv'd ; 


And haiPd the Falcon, wanderer now no more, 
The sacred agent of superior pow'r. 
Instant, to turn the screw his hand essay'd ; 
Th' obedient ear his slightest touch obey'd, 
As pliant, as the supple joints that writhe 
When the snake winds, the tufted grass beneath. 

Now, governing the springs, the King bestrode 
With ease the Brazen Steed, and downward rode. 
Sublime the Falcon perch'd upon his head, 
And round his brows her snowy pinions spread : 
While, rapid as a comet sweeps through air, 
Pregnant with ills of pestilence and war, 
Th' enchanted horse his double burden bore 
To Sana's royal domes, and to the battle's roar, 
Towards earth obliquely glancing, he beheld 
On either side the posture of the field ; 
How on the right the combat fiercest rag'd, 
Where secret love the ruling swords engag'd ; 
And saw, with anguish saw, his noblest son 
Hemm'd in, and midst an host of foes, alone. 
Fir'd at the danger, quick his hand he laid 
On his left thigh — his thigh sustain'd no blade! — 
For nor his hand the jav'lin, nor his side 
The sword, supported, when the Steed he tried. 
One moment did he pause : then turn'd the horse 
And towards the royal tomb inclined his course. 

Superior o'er the rest that building rose, 
The sacred mansion of a king's repose, 


Four equal walls compos'd th' exterior case, 
Each narrowing to the summit from its base : 
Twelve columns propt a marble architrave 
Eastward ; a porch beneath, protection gave 
To all, whom silent Melancholy led 
To muse upon the memory of the dead. 
In front, above the columns proudly rais'd, 
The symbol of Tartarian pow'r was plac'd, 
The model of that shield, which Ginghis bore; 
The source of Tartar fame in times of yore. 
Behind that lofty shield, a vacancy 
(Left in the solid wall) both broad and high, 
Pour'd light upon the wonders hid within, 
The jewel'd pavement, and the golden shrine; 
Where, midst the treasures of the world, was laid 
The last, the rarest gift, th' enchanted blade. 

Straight as an arrow's path, the monarch held 
His course, and plunging down behind the shield 
First touch'd again the ground within the dome; 
And thus with awful voice addrest the tomb. 
' Hail holy place ! as now thy walls inclose 
' Ginghiscan, may these limbs in thee repose ! 
e Ah ! doom'd, how late, to bleach on desert plains, 
f No troplry rais'd to mark the sad remains. 
i But thou, oh pow'r ! who giv'st me to return, 
f Give me to save from spoil this honour'd urn ! 
f No useless, idle being now be mine : 
5 But let my deeds deserve thy aid divine ! 


< Oh ! let this sabre now supply my need— 

c As does th' enchanted frame,, the Brazen Steed — 
' And yonder treacherous knight shall rue the hour 

< When his craft gave them to Cambuscan's power.' 
He said ; and seized the sword and touched the 

And upwards o'er the shield quick glancing flew, 
So eager to confront his hated foe 
That ev'n Enchantment's arrowy speed seem'd slow. 
But inly grieving that, with magic fraught, 
Not now, as once, the field of fame he sought 
In valour only trusting, and the God 
Who portions rout and conquest with his nod, 
Thus pray'd Cambuscan in his airy course — 

* Oh Power supreme ! thou know'st my soul abhors 
' All spells, all fabrics by unholy lore 

' And sigils fram'd, and planetary power; 

* Nor would I use them, now that fraudful fiend 
< No more by dark hypocrisy is screen'd, 

' But so impetuous is th' invaders course 

* That my best aid were late, without the horse, 
' And in the fight my presence would afford 

' A short-liv'd hope, unfurnished with a sword. 

* Deign then, oh great protector ! to allow 
{ The transient use of cursed weapons now, 

( And thou shalt see Cambuscan spurn the charms 
f When blest occasion points to other arms ; 


€ Nor one of all the magic presents touch 

' Save when the tottering state their use avouch ; 

c But ne'er beneath that plea man's empty wishes 

Such was his prayer ; and instant to the fight 
Where tumult loudest call'd, he shap'd his flight. 
But though the myriads who the rampart lin'd 
To anxious terror all their eyes resign'd, 
And, gazing only on their dreaded foes, 
Saw not the King descend, nor when he rose; 
Yet Canace, with eye-balls turn'd on high, 
Caught the first blackness floating in the sky, 
And mark'd its growing form and lessening height, 
Till all the image burst upon her sight : 
And < see/ she cried, ( to life and us restor'd, 
' Fierce on the Brazen Steed descends the Tartar 

Then, light as zephyr sweeps the morning dew, 
To Elfeta the joyful Princess flew, 
And tried to tell her tale, forgot the most, 
And half of what she said in rapture lost. — 
But when the Queen had learnt her lord was near, 
She heard not any more, nor wish'd to hear; 
If Heav'n had deign'd his safety to allow, 
Too full was her fond heart to wonder how : 
Then thus ; c Oh what a life of prayer we owe 
c To him, whose mercy wards so dire a blow ! 


e And Heav'n, amid the choral praise it hears, 
( Receives no thanks so pure as joyful tears. — 
' Haste, haste we to the field ! and let these eyes 
c That wept his loss, behold his victories — 
e For never magic can his lance rebate, 
c Or hell a pow'r to stand his arm create/ 

She spoke ; in L haste they pass'd : the rumour 
Grew as it went, and spoke of Aulum dead : 
And while upon the wall in mute dismay 
The veterans watch'd the fortune of the day, 
Within, the sounds of joy began to rise, 
And priests ordain'd the grateful sacrifice. 

Meantime Cambuscan, darting from on high, 
Beheld a crowned flag, and, standing nigh, 
The form august of silver'd royalty. 
In arms again he knew Wolodimir, 
Vast in his bulk, unknowing how to fear; 
Who five long years the Tartar pow'r defied, 
On the broad banks of Wolga's glassy tide. 
Indignant at the sight, Cambuscan drove 
The brazen fabric from his course above, 
And at the King his fatal sword impell'd — 
Wolodimir fell prostrate on the field — 
Loud scream 'd the Falcon, loud Cambuscan cried, 
The startled troops rush'd back on ev'ry side, 
And Terror stay'd the combat far and wide. 




As when the clouds let loose their fires within, 

And Death is felt before the flash is seen, 

If chance some master bull the stroke receive— 

Herd, herdsmen, dogs at once the victim leave, 

And, flying to the copse, from louring death 

Seek shelter, panic struck, and pant beneath : 

Such universal dread the armies fill'd, 

AVhile o'er their heads th' unlook'd for warrior wheel'd. 

But Acban knew at once the Horse of Brass, 
And guess'd (ah wretch !) what knight the warrior was : 
Soon Algarsife perceiv'd the King return'd, 
And bless'd that hope which in his heart had burn'd ! 
Soon Theodora that return deplor'd, 
Her sire the victim of th' enchanted sword — 
' Oh Prince,' she cried, ( who war'st to make me thine, 
' Is my sire's murder of thy love the sign ? 
1 Hear, Heav'n ! and sanction what my duty swears ! 
f If the King die, my heart no Tartar shares.— 
e Wolodimir for me that arm defied ; 
e He fought for Theodora, and he died : 
' Thy tongue, that bid the troops my father save, • 
' Belied thy wish— nor art thou truly brave— 
' 'Twas mean to feign affection for a foe, 
< While magic hover'd o'er and struck the blow.' 
6 Oh ! listen not alone to grief and rage — 
c Distinction fades/ he cried, ' when troops engage; 
c He knew not— he who struck Wolodimir — 
* The bitterness of love that triumphs here; 


c Knew not thy sire's revolt, thy flight, the cause 

( That to this place the shock of battle draws— 

' He struck at random, warm to save a son, 

' Nor guess'd my foes best interests were my own— 

c Relent — ah yet relent !' He cried in vain ; 

While Acban mark'd him through the flying train ; 

While furious Aulum at the last drew near, 

Alone untainted with the general fear : 

Both 'gainst the Prince their utmost force addrest; 

But different motives sprung in either breast; 

Aulum, with thirst of blood and stubborn pride 

Inflated, to avenge Al-Kabal tried: 

But Acban, in that horse returning, read 

Black fate impending o'er his destin'd head: 

And vainly deem'd on vanquish'd Algarsife 

To rest the safety of his forfeit life. 

Both (ere Cambuscan in his flight could trace 

The warriors, mingled in so small a space) 

Both rush'd on Algarsife — and Acban's spear 

Whizz'd through his courser's head from ear to ear 

And as the Princess' grace he sought in vain, 

Roll'd backward by the Steed, he tumbled on the 

There as he lay, encumber'd with the load, 
Dismounting, o'er the ruin Acban strode. 
And, ( Stay thy course of death !' he cried aloud 
' Restrain the Horse, Cambuscan ! or thy son 
£ Pays the dear price of all thy victories won/ 



Just at that instant Allium rais'd his sword 
(Regardless of th' imperious warrior's word) 
And aiming at the Prince with giant force, 
Cambuscan to the rescue drove his horse 
And with such fury dash'd upon his head, 
That sense, at once, and life from Aulum fled. 
But the elastic frame so strongly shook 
Bounding, the monarch's knees their hold forsook, 
And headlong on the clanging ground he came — 
Acban pronounc'd the word and vanish'd was the 

Quick rose the King : though his collected soul 
Forgot not how that absence to control, 
A nobler victim Acban seem'd to stand 
Due to the might of his unaided hand: 
And scorning to debase his holy tongue 
With charms, from cowardice and sorcery sprung, 
On the pale traitor (who by fear misled 
Pronounc'd the spell before he touch'd the steed 
Nor shar'd its influence) with a torrent's might 
The dread avenger rush'd, and pinn'd him to the fight. 

But Acban now, no chance to 'scape allow'd, 
Call'd up his scatter'd thoughts, and louring stood, 
Like Ephialtes, chief of giant birth, 
When pausing on th' extremest verge of earth 
Again upon th' ethereal host he turn'd, 
And fac'd the ligat'nings which avenging burn'd, 


When equal terrors round him seem'd to glow, 
Above the wrath of Heav'n, the yawning gulph below. 
New strength each limb of Acban seem'd to share, 
Strung by the tenfold vigor of despair ; 
And, had the fire of virtue beam'd within, 
A nobler form of man heav'n ne'er had seen. 
While confident, oppos'd, the Tartar king 
Found his accustom'd ardour in him spring ; 
And, as he mov'd, the eyes of all his host 
Dwelt on him, their support, their joy, their boast. 
As when of yore across the barren sand 
Unnumber'd Israel march'd, by HeavVs command, 
A pillar of bright flame sublime appear'd, 
Their path directed, and their anguish cheer'd : 
Such, and so glorious, great Cambuscan shone; 
And Hope and Fear had birth from him alone. 

Loathing the sword, on which the breath of hell 
(Though for the traitor's aid) had stamp'd a spell, 
A stone's misshapen bulk he seiz'd in haste 
And aiming at his foe, with fury cast 
Tempestuous, as huge JEtna ; when her fires 
Fling through the air some rock, in whirling spires, 
Till distant seas receive the craggy spoil, 
And sailors turn the prow, and shun the new-born isle. 
Scarce with less force the weight Cambuscan threw: 
But Acban all the arts of combat knew 
And lightly leapt aside, while just beyond 
The falling mountain rooted in the ground 


Stood flxt — a monument in after times 

Of great Cambuscan's force and Acban's crimes. 

Th' Ophirian, not remiss, with active bound 
Sprung on the King, and circling plied around 
With wary eye, to strike, if to his sword 
Some part unfenc'd might any aim afford. 
Then thus the King; ( Oh Being! from thy height 
' Behold me! with detested arms I fight. — 
e But if thy wisdom at this hour ordain 
f That by such means this knight of hell be slain, 
' Oh ! let this dreadful hour my deed excuse, 
' Nor fade my glory from the arms I use !' 
Instant he drew again that hateful sword, 
And on the chief a storm of horror pour'd: 
But wheresoever fell the flashing steel, 
Acban was gone ; and with unequalFd skill 
Flying he fought. — The King where'er he fled 
Was with him; hate gave pinions to his speed. — 
As when enrag'd the royal bird assails 
A Goshawk, tow'ring on th' ethereal gales, 
Him, as he plunges headlong from on high, 
The Hawk eludes and shoots along the skj 7 ; 
So Acban still escap'd ; so still the King 
Assail'd him, active answering spring for spring; 
And still their hands th' offensive combat plied, 
And thousand strokes were aim'd on either side; 
But, though their blows deceiv'd the common eyes, 
Each measur'd still his own and caught his enemies. 


Thus while they fought, the Prince (who long 
By the dead courser stretch'd across his breast, 
Had striv'n, with his returning sense, to cast 
The weight aside, and freed his limbs at last) 
Arising, the decisive combat view'd ; 
While all the troops around expecting stood, 
His lady now nor flying nor pursued : 
While yet 'twixt chivalry's long sanction'd form, 
He paus'd, and filial duty's impulse warm, 
Or to abide th' event, or lend his aid, 
And half rais'd up appear'd his reeking blade, 
The monarch's high command his wish restrain'd, 
And in the ranks a mute spectator chain'd. 
Bat longer as the furious battle held, 
Rage still the more Cambuscan's arm impell'd ; 
W'hile, close above, her wings of snowy hue 
The Falcon wav'd, and clamour'd as she flew: 
And, as th' Ophirian's strength by labour fail'd, 
The King with doubling eagerness assail'd, 
And urg'd his foe, and struck with fiercer force — 
While Acban, in the anguish of remorse, 
Pelt weak his mighty limbs, destroy'd the spell, 
And nothing of his sorcery left but hell. 
Then, stumbling, as he sprung to scape the blade, 
Cambuscan's dreadful gripe his progress staid : 
With his left hand he seiz'd him as he reel'd; 
-Dropping his charmed sabre on the field, 


In the black plume his better hand he wound, 
And dragg'd him vainly struggling to the ground. 
Straight, pressing with his foot the chief beneath, 
He grasp'd and twitch'd the channel of his breath, 
And wrenching backwards that detested head, 
In thick convulsive sobs the mournful spirit fled. 
Grim rose the King : and, with the face display'd, 
Flung towards the shuddering troops their leader dead; 
A trophy due to mightier strength alone, 
Nor by th' enchanted sabre meanly won. 
Then (while the Falcon stoop'd with pinions clos'd 
And on the summit of his helm repos'd) 
Cambuscan rais'd his well-known voice on high, 
And Sarra's walls resounded victory. 

Th' Ophirians now, their great example slain, 
Stood silent, fixt with horror to the plain : 
And the proud spirit, by his valour fed, 
At once in the remotest legions fled. 
As when, in dead of night, the flames devour 
Some spacious magazine or lofty tower, 
On every side the flaky volumes roll, 
And shoot, and spread, and sparkle o'er the pole: 
But if mechanic pow'r, apply'd by man, 
Show'r copious floods where first the fire began, 
When on the ember'd beams the fluid preys, 
The flame by fits breaks out, by fits decays, 
Till soon, their fountains stopt, the blazes die 
And the scene sinks in darkness from the eye ; 


So faded in the troops the rage of war ; 
Palsied was ev'ry voice, and quiet ev'ry spear. 

Fierce in the purple hour was Sarra's King; 
But soft in peace, as is the breath of spring. 
The traitor kill'd, he saw th' Ophirian bands 
In dumb obedience wait his high commands, 
And satiate, sheath'd his sword; for human blood 
Looks hideous, save with Fury's optics view'd. 
The dreadful frown that brooded on his brow, 
The fire that seem'd in either eye to glow, 
Soon past away: athwart the monarch's face 
Diffusing Mercy shed celestial grace : 
O'er the pale troops assuring smiles he flung, 
And in their fearful bosoms comfort sprung. 
So cheerful look the swains of Egypt's soil 
When Sirius from his caverns calls the Nile, 
And Plenty, stooping from the Nubian hills, 
Her foyson o'er the teeming vale distills. 
Then thus the monarch — ' For no fault of your^ 
' The havock of this day mankind endures. 
c Ye, loyal to your King, his word obey'd : 
' The forfeit of his crime your King has paid. 
c The final doom of those who fell in war 
r Remains with Heav'n : 'tis mine the rest to spare. 
( Here on this bloody plain your tents display, 
6 And to the dead your countries honours pay : 
s Nine days for rest we give ye, and to mourn 
( Your slaughter'd warriors; on the tenth return. 



( Ourself will grant ye sustenance ; our bands 
s Shall safe escort ye through our subject lands; 
( Thence may the Pow'r above your progress bless, 
' As ye refrain from wrong and live in peace ! 
' But see our Queen approaches— see she bends 
1 O'er some ill-fated warrior, borne by friends. 
' Oh, bitterness of war ! ev'n victory 
' From unavailing grief is never free : 
1 And Death has now been busy, to allay 
' The joy that Sana feels for such a day.' 

Cambuscan ended : Elfeta drew near j 

And flew into his arms; then dropt a tear • > 

And turn'd her streaming eyes to Carnbal's bier. J 
{ Look there, my Lord! that one of Sana's sons 
s For Ophir's slaughter'd royalty atones, 
' Th' invaders to relieve their woe may tell, 
c And sanctify the hour when Cambal fell. 
( But yet he is not dead— oh ! let him tase, 
' Ere from his lips for ever life be past, 
* A sire's embrace — oh Cambal ! ope thine eyes, 
e And hail Cambuscan yielded from the skies ; 
6 Thyself, alas ! the only sacrifice.' — 
Then Canace— t The traitor Acban gave 
' A Ring, of pow'r the life of man to save, 
' Among the baleful presents, which he brought 
( From Ophir, and our general sorrow wrought. 
' This Ring the sovereign's wish and your decree 
f In a propitious hour assign'd to me : 



' Propitious — for when, curious, I essay'd 

' Those qualities the traitor's speech display'd, 

c That milk-white Falcon I to life restor'd 

* Which to our hopes redeemed our royal lord. 

f 'Twere long to tell the process of my plan ; 

' By what 'twas aided, and in what began ; 

' For Cambal lies expiring, and the Ring 

' (If means like this be sanction 'd by the King) 

' Will heal his ghastly wounds, the life-blood stay, 

c And with new vigour animate the clay. 

' Lov'd as he is, to use such means I fear'd 

c To save him, till Cambuscan's voice were heard : 

e But had he wander'd still in air above, 

f No scruples had repress'd a sister's love.' 

She said: in mute suspense Cambuscan stood: 
The King forbad the charm ; the sire allow' 
For Sana's weal might spare one champioi 
Pale Cambal lay, depriv'd of ev'ry grace 
That youth flung plenteous o'er his manly face; 
Each feature overspread with livid hue, 
And his lips crimson faded into blue: 
But still within the vital embers glow'd, 
And still his heart propelPd the sluggish blood. 
As when his vest o'er Nature Winter draws, 
Her tints expunges, and suspends her laws; 
Though mountain rills their rapid course forego 
And, fixt, are blended with the dazzling snow, 

an stood: "\ 
3 w'd; C 

>n's blood./ 


Some drops beneath their fluid sfate retain,, 
And creep in hollow channels to the main : 
So,, though his features wore the garb of death, 
The lungs of Cambal faintly play'd beneath. 
Cambuscan oft, when from some gaping wound 
A drop of blood welPd trickling to the ground, 
Would turn to call for Canace, to bring 
The speedy succour of her magic Ring, 
But holy horror check'd the parent's word: — 
For from the Ring he shrunk, and from the sword, 
And whatsoe'er its pow'r to magic ow'd ; 
And deem'd to use them was to war with God. 
But, while conflicting thoughts his bosom tore; 
While Cambal fainting lay, and drench'd in gore, 
As if his soul but staid to join in flight 
Wolodimir's and brave Al-Kabal's sprite, 
Just lingering on the confines of the night; 
While the Queen pray'd her lord the cure to grant; 
While Canace held forth the healing plant, 
Anxious to catch one accent, that allow'd 
To crush into the wound the juicy flood— 
A solemn stillness hung upon the air: 
And fairy strains swell'd softly from afar, 
Sweet, as when Zephyr, with his viewless wings, 
Steals casual music from Eolian strings; 
And gales that from Elysium seem'd to come 
Breath'd o'er the place ineffable perfume : 


■ } 

ad. J 


Then burst upon their view a vivid light, 

Eclipsing day, all colourless and bright; 

As when the sun, just mounting in the sky, 

Behind a gilded cloud eludes the eye, 

A gleam of splendor fills the space below, 

Clear as the noon, but pure as winter's snow. 

Dumb admiration seiz'd on all the band; 

The healing herb fell from the Princess' hand; 

Cambuscan's self was mov'd : a glow of red 

O'er Cambal's cheek th' immortal odours shed 

And life almost resum'd its functions in the dead 

Then sudden, glancing on the beams of light, 

A form seraphic stood confess'd to sight : 

Impress'd with female features was the face, 

(If aught of human lurk in angel grace) 

And on her brows a diadem she wore : 

So rich a crown ne'er shone on earth before: 

For ev'ry gem had been a falling star, 

Caught by the Elves that sport in upper air, 

And link'd with jet to bind Maimoune's hair. 

Her vest, as lucid as the milky way, 

Loose from her shoulders hung, in folds to play, 

And in each look benignity appear'd, 

Which all, who felt a spotless conscience, cheer'd ; 

But whosoe'er had modell'd fraud and lies, 

Shrunk, like b the serpent from a charmer's eyes. 

ll Shrunk, like, &c] According to Mr. Bruce in his account of the 
Cerastes, when any person, armed by the means which are common in 


' Mortal/ she cried, ( thy doubts, thy fears I know; 
e I reverence thy fear, I feel thy woe : 

* The love of holy sprites the virtuous share ; 

c And thou, Cambuscan! art Maimoune's care: 

' Nor thou alone, but all whoe'er can claim 

' To trace their blood from thy majestic stream ; 

' All, whom the volumes of the fates consign 

' By hymeneal rites to thee or thine. 

' Well hast thou fear'd with charms to kill or save; 

' For charms pollute the good, demean the brave. 

' But Hcav'n delights to punish, with the knife 

f Edg'd by the murderer 'gainst another's life; 

< And oft ordains that mighty kings shall wear 

* The fetters, they for peaceful realms prepare. 

* Know then, the guilt of magic only lies 

( With him, from whom the foul enchantments rise; 
' And deem not, that the wrath of Heav'n pursues 
' Whoe'er, by chance acquir'd, such fabrics use. 
' False Acban feels the judgment of his spell ; 
f For the design was his, and but the work from hell. 
( But now, to heal the ills from him that sprung; 
c And make the instrument redress the wrong; 
' To work by offer'd means th' Almighty will; 
( The lot of Dames and Princes to fulfil ; 

Africa, takes a viper in his hands, the animal loses its vivacity, and re- 
mains faint and sickly till released from his touch: although it immedi- 
ately recover its full vigour arid venomous power afterwards. 


f Of charms possess'd it fits thee to avail 

* Thy arm, and use them for the general weal. 
'.Low Camhal lies, a trifler now no more, 

* But tried and prov'd in battle's dreadful hour : 

1 His crimes (for crimes could taint Cambuscan's son) 

' By silent penitence are purg'd and gone ; 

( And he shall live to thank a sister's aid, 

c And bless with faithful love a long neglected maid. 

' By Cambal's side behold another bier; 

' (For hands unseen convey'd and plac'd it there)— 

* Ev'n now Al-Kabal feels the touch of death, 

' Nor now had liv'd, but Fate retain'd his breath. 
' Let Canace to both the Ring apply ; 

* This with a brother's name her aid shall buy, 
e And Heav'n to That ordains a dearer tie. 

* Nor yet let Mercy slumber, when the plant 
' Hath rais'd fresh life in either combatant; 
' Thee let her urge, Cambuscan ! to restore 
' One, late thy victim in the battle's hour: 
' 'Tis thine the Russian monarch to forgive; 
c And from the sword the only pow'r derive 
' To heal the wound it gave, and bid him live. 5 

Maimoune ceas'd : Cambuscan instant said, 
c Thy will, oh Queen ! shall be by me obey'd. 
' I loath'd the arms with which a sorc'rer fought; 
e Not a son's life with magic had I bought: 
* But the best wisdom that to man is giv'n, 
c Weighs but as chaff, against the breath of Heav'n, 

ive.' ) 


' Let Can ace employ her magic Ring 

' For both the bleeding youths — and hither bring 

' The victim of this sword, the Russian king/ 

Cambuscau said : the ready menials bore 
The King from where he lay, besmear'd with gore; 
Nor yet had recollection's pow'r return'd, 
But his half open'd eyes with fury burn'd. 
Cambuscan straight the magic steel display'd : 
Ten thousand terrors flam'd upon its blade, 
And Ophir shrunk, at such a gleam dismay'd. 
Yet once he turn'd his eyes, and once again, 
For a new sanction from th' aerial Queen, 
Till at the last confirmed, the flatten'd side 
He stoop'd and to the yawning gash applied. 
Wolodimir that magic virtue found; 
For not a trace remain'd of all the wound; 
And, as unconscious of the blood he lost, 
Firm stood the King, the bulwark of his host ; 
Though of events foregone his memory 
Was dull, and round he look'd with asking eye. 

Scarce did the fair her sire's permission hear, 
When, trembling, she approach'd the double bier. 
At first the med'cine o'er Al-Kabal's breast 
She held, but virgin shame the act repress'd: 
In Cambal's gaping wounds the herb she crush 'd : 
The power thro' all the branching vessels rush 
And health o'er every stiffening feature flush 



sh'd: } 
sh'd, ( 
I'd. ) 


As when a falling stone may chance to break 

The dead repose of some sequester'd lake, 

In undulating rings the motion spreads, 

And wider from- the center still recedes, 

Till the remotest bay the shock explore, 

And the waves faintly curl and kiss the shore? 

So life's returning warmth o'er Cambal came 

And sought the deep recesses of his frame. 

Not with less pow'r, but with less steady arm, 

On the Ophirian Prince she tried the charm. 

The first-fruits of his breath he spent in sighs ; 

And gazing wildly with his languid eyes, 

Of recollections mixt a chaos rose 

Of wounds, and flight, and death, and friends, and 

Till the fair form that bended o'er his bier 
And bath'd his wounds with many a pearly tear, 
To one sole object soon his eyes confin'd ; 
And love dispell'd the clouds that wrapt his mind. 

Maimoune then began : but, ere she spoke, 
From her celestial eyes such influence broke, 
That all the fiercer passions of mankind 
Were lost, at once, in every soldier's mind : 
Desire of blood, and nobler thirst of fame, 
Ambition, and Resentment's stronger claim 
To Harmony and gentle Love gave place, 
And a wide wish to benefit their race. 


Thus spake the Queen : c Behold ! how Heav'n can foil 

' The rarest product of a sorc'rer's toil : 

' The Ring, the Sabre, and the Brazen Steed, 

' Fram'd that false Acbau's treasons might succeed, 

' Have wrought, through me, the converse of his will; 

* And he has plung'd in sin your cup of bliss to fill. 
f Acban and Amda for their crimes atone: 

( Aulum for spoil has lost both life and throne: 
' But different fates attend Al-KabaPs worth, 
' And him, the monarch of the icy north. 
f Cambuscan's mightier arm and Heav'n's decree 

* Subdued his power, but still his mind was free: 
' And, if he leagued with Erbol's rebel train, 

' He leagued, his antient empire to regain. 

' No hate, no commerce with the powers below, 

' Wolodimir's great soul would ever know : 

* A chief of royal birth and royal fame, 

' His shield, his views, and all his acts proclaim; 

e Nor does the Russian maid her line disgrace; 

' Of elevated mind and faultless face. 

( Her to the Tartar heir my will assigns, 

' And in one wreath the hostile crowns entwines. 

' No less a meed she merits ; and a meed 

f Greater than him, was ne'er by Heav'n decreed. 

e His mighty mind reflects the martial fire, 

e The mercy, greatness, wisdom of his sire, 

' Though modesty so checks them, that he shines 

* Dim, as the Moon, ere Phoebus yet declines ; 


c Hereafter doom'd a lustre to display, 

4 Bright, as the glories of his acts to-day. 

c Nor does alone Maimoune's fostering pow'r 

' On Algarsife the nuptial blessing show'r; 

4 For brave Al-Kabal's virtues is prepar'd 

' In Canace, his best, his lov'd reward. 

4 Ev'n in their cradled years, where'er I flew, 

e Nought as this pair so precious met my view : 

c She seem'd with him each virtue to divide, 

' And sovereign Nature mark'd her for his bride. 

' For this, alarrn'd, when (by my pow'r opprest) 

' Dyr-Zoro, Acban's artful scheme confest, 

4 When human fraud, by specious magic crown'd, 

' Array'd against this damsel's peace I found ; 

4 By dreams, which from his spells I learn'd to build, 

( Against seductive arts her breast I steel'd ; 

( And with so nice a touch in visions wrought, 

' That each, unseen, the soft infection caught: 

4 On either's mind the other's form engrav'd 

4 (Unconscious how) that willing mind enslav'd^ 

c And fairy means, enforc'd by Acban's crime, 

' Atchiev'd, in haste, the work of chance and time. 

' And muse not thou, if ruling Fate unite 

4 Whom worlds have sever'd, in the nuptial rite : 

' For Tartary and Ophir's regions lie 

' Ev'n as a speck, beneath the all-seeing eye ; 

4 And Virtue, wheresoe'er her germs appear, 

4 Commends them all alike to Heav'n's parental care. 


tf Nor wonder, chief of men ! that Heav'n's decree 
r By wedlock should establish amity: 

* For nuptial love can heal a nation's jars, 

' And leagues, on wedlock built, gain strength by 

' Know, all these loves in Elfin Power began; 
1 Source of whatever sooths the lot of man : 
' And they, who by Maimoune's art are led 
e To seek the blessings of the nuptial bed, 

* Clear to the last shall drain the draught of life; 
f Unting'd by sorrow and unsour'd by strife.' 

Maimoune ceas'd awhile — a pause ensued: 
Ev'n they, whose hopes were blest, in silence stood 
For bliss no gratulating speech affords; 
Joy at the full is ignorant of words. 
At length the King; * Thy high behests disclose 
f That goodness, which for man in angels glows. 
' Reveal'd by thee are Sarra's destinies ; 
' And what thou say'st Cambuscan ratifies.' 
He spoke: the Power delay'd not to resume 
Her speech, and tell to all their final doom. 
€ To Cambal now, with different thoughts, I turn : 
' He is not guiltless; he has much to mourn. 
( There was - his alter'd looks the truth proclaim — 
€ There was a much belov'd, much injured dame: 
' But can those alter'd looks for deeds atone, 
' By which that dame is lost, for ever gone? 


* Can sorrow now thy Zelica restore 

' Fresh in her charms, as in thy happier hour ? 

( Can Penitence redeem that fair one now ? 

' Or smooth the wrinkles on Timourshah's brow? 

' Oh ! prompt is man to sin ; and readier still 

r To wish undone th' irrevocable ill : 

' But thou, by youth and vanity impell'd, 

' Thy best of thoughts by Erbol's counsel quell'd, 

e Misled by Etha (whom remorse has driv'n, 

' Self-doom'd, to her account with vengeful heav'n) 

' Did'st leave a dame, who only liv'd for thee, 

' To misery, to despondence — but to me — 

' To me, who use the pow'rs on Elves bestow'd 

f To save the innocent and bless the good.' 

c Oh sovereign of my fate!' the warrior cried, 
' Let me the justice of my doom abide : 
c More heinous than thy charge my crime I see ; 
( My bitterest accuser speaks in me. 
' Nor let that chief, who mourns his daughter lost, 
f Whose life's autumnal strength I nipt with frost, 
( Think that, in all my wildness, e'er decay 'd 
' The image of that wrong'd, lamented maid : 
e Still to my startled mind she would appear, 
' And in my dying hour I griev'd for her. 
e But if, by thee protected, she survive — 
( If Cambal's self be yet allow'd to live— 
' Oh ! let repentance now and years of pain 
' The jewel, which my folly lost, regain: 


x Oh ! to these arms my Zelica restore, 

' Some pilgrimage, some strict noviciate o'er.' — 

To whom the Queen — ! Pure justice is with him 
' In excellence and pow'r who reigns supreme. 
€ But we, the meanest of the choirs on high 
' Whose essence bows not to mortality, 

* Frail in ourselves, excuses love to find 

' Or pardon, for the frailties of mankind. 
' For me, who with the lucid planet move 
' That rules the wayward accidents of love, 
' First of the Elves, her airy train among, 
' Who sport around her as she rolls along, 
' And loudly carol, when her beams adorn 
( The brows of evening, or foretell the morn; 

* Where'er attendant on her march I fly, 
' All lovers hearts are subject to my eye; 
' And, not unknown to me, thy early age 

' Burnt for the daughter of that noble sage, 

( Timourshah, trusted by Cambuscan's care 

f To train thy youth and Algarsife's to war: 

' Nor, unobserv'd by me, did Zelica 

e Feel the pure flame about her bosom play : 

' I witness'd, when eternal faith you sware; 

f I witness'd, when that vow was lost in air; 

e When none with Etha might your homage share. 

* Then was the time for pitying Elves to aid, 

( Till heav'n should chasten thee, the drooping maid. 


1 Silent, her head upon her hand she bow'd, 
( And slowly, one by one, the tear-drops flow'd : 
' Gaunt Melancholy stood beside her bed 
f Telling sad tales of dames by men betray'd, 
' And reckoning o'er the vows by Cambal made. 
' Instant I snatch'd her from that monster's view — 
c Twas all I could, whilst thou wast yet untrue. — 
' The gulphy Wolga gap'd at my command ;. 
' 1 wafted unobserv'd the crew to land ; 
c Of human form depriv'd, I gave the fair 
' On snowy plumes to range the ambient air, 
' And to oblivion in her brain consign'd 

* The traces of her station and her kind ; 

9 Though still the shadow of her grief remain'd : 
' The features lost the outline she retain'd, 
' And of neglected love and faithless birds com- 

* Lo! where she quits the royal perch she chose 
' And stoops to me, the guardian of her woes : 

' For, chang'd into a Hawk, my prescient care 
' Plac'd her, where Canace her cries might hear ; 
f And, ere she lost again her pow'rs of flight, 
' Restor'd through her Cambuscan to the fight— 
' For preternatural means must vanquish magic 

* But here thy sorrows end ; and she, whose doom 

* Thy charms invested with no vulgar plume, 


' Now tells thee that requited love is thine, 
' And bids thee take again thy form divine.' 

Scarce were the closing words pronounc'd and 
When in the Falcon's place a dame appear'd; 
As quick, as when the north-wind drives the rack, 
The clouds, dispersing, various outlines take, 
And none the gradual change of shape can note, 
But see the vapours in new figures float; 
The paragon of birds at once became 
Fair, as upon the field the loveliest dame. 
Mute wonder seiz'd on all ; the new-born maid, 
Unconscious where she was, the throng survey'd, 
Like one, who in a vision seems to view 
Of knights and stately dames a gallant crew, 
With forms that, once familiar to his eyes, 
Bewilder'd then he cannot recognize. 
But ere the wanderings of her thought were o'er, 
Ere Cambalo his gratitude could pour, 
Maimoune once again the silence broke, 
And to her gazing audience solemn spoke. 
i Hear, mortals! hear your doom: to Algarsife 
* Fate portions Theodora as his wife: 

c Fate portions, &c] In the following lines, the catastrophe of the 
poem is summed up : how far it will be found consonant to the outline 
left by Chaucer, for the fable which he either actually completed or in- 
tended to complete, is not for him who undertook to fill up the chasm, 


e For her he bravely fought; for her had bled, 
' But his sire sav'd him by the Brazen Steed. 

to judge : He is sensible that in one respect he has not fulfilled Chaucer's 
design, viz. in not making Cambal and Algarsife jointly engage Canace's 
lover in lists, Cambal only, as the poem now stands, engaging that lover 
in single combat, during a battle. : This deviation was not without con- 
sideration : It was thought injudicious to engraft, on Chaucer's stock, a 
poem of very great length ; but had the several topics laid down by him 
been made the subject of so many distinct actions, interspersed with the 
speeches, descriptions, &c. which poetry requires, double the number of 
the books, which now comprize the fable, Would have been required. 
And if the tournament in which all pretenders to Canace were to show 
their prowess by overcoming her two brethren had been introduced, it 
must have been necessarily a distinct action of itself, independent of, and 
probably subsequent to, the winning of Theodora : Whereas by making 
all Chaucer's topics, as far as might be, parts of one action ; and that 
one action, immediately resulting from the stranger's bringing the magic 
horse to Sarra, it is hoped that the spirit, if not the letter, of Chaucer's 
plan is adhered to, within a compass not quite disproportionate to that of 
some of the tales completed by himself. It may not be impertinent to 
point out to the reader, before I insert the lines in which Chaucer lays 
down the subject of his intended work, that where he says he will * speak 
of Cambuscan that in his time many" a city wanne,' he does not say that 
he will treat of the winning of those cities, but of him who did win them : 
10 that the introduction of Wolodimir and the allusion to Cambuscan's 
long wars in, and final conquest of, Muscovy, will satisfy that part of 
the argument. Chaucer's lines are as follows : 

I woll no more speke of hir ring, 
Till it come eft to purpose, for to sain 
How that this Falcon gat hir love again 
Repentant, as the story telleth us, 
By mediation of Camballus, 
The kinges son, of which that I you told ; 
But henceforth I woll my proces hold 
To speke of aventures and battailes, 
That yet was never hird so grete mervaills. 


f In Cambal let the Falcon find again 

' Her Tercelet, the cause of all her pain: 

' And let Al-Kabal, who in front of war 

1 Dar'd the bold brethren of the Tartar fair, 

' With her the bliss of pure affection share : 

r While thou, the first in virtues as in state, 

' In wisdom and in valour truly great, 

' Beyond the common term thy years shall stretch, 

' And what a man should be, to future ages teach. 

' But let the chance of this eventful day 
' The miseries of vice to all display. 
' Observe, in the dire end of Acban's fraud, 
' Mov'd by no scruples, by no terrors aw'd, 
' In Aulum's mad ambition, all his pow'r 
' Lost in th' indulgence of his thirst for more, 
' How vainly man employs his span of days, 
' His greatness on another's fall to raise ! 
' Heedless, as to the tomb his foes are cast, 
' That he must follow, though he follow last. 

First woll I tell you of Cambuscan 
That in his time many a city wan ; 
And after woll I speke of Algarsif 
How that he wan Theodora to his wif, 
For whom full oft in grete peril he was, 
Ne had he ben holpen by the Hors of Bras. 
And after woll I speke of Caballo 
That fought in listes with the brethren two 
For Canace, er that he might hir winne ; 
And there I left I woll again beginne. 


»re; ^ 

5 J 


f From Kaf 's vast ridge, which to Cathay extends 
' Nor westward, till it frown on Europe, ends, 
( What thousand streams in various channels flow, 
' Or parch'd by heat or swol'n by melted snow ! 
' Some with still course creep slowly to the shore ; 
c Some o'er rough rocks in shallow torrents roar ; 
( Some thro* the delug'd vales destruction pour 
' This, through unpeopled tracts, its humble course 
' Unnotic'd holds, and single, from its source : 
' This greedy, from the mountains' fountful sides 
' Swells its broad stream with tributary tides, 

* And as proud tow'rs and gallant ships it laves, 
1 Sees wealth and empire float upon its waves, 
' And drinks d the prayers of idolizing slaves. 
' But, whether deep or shallow, still or loud, 

e One destiny awaits on ev'ry flood : 
< All, howsoe'er their course attention claim, 
6 Lose in the sea their being and their name : 
' Quick let them run, or slow, at last they fall 

* Into one whelming main that swallows all ; 

' And their resistless force, their wealth, their pride 
' Adds not one surge to Ocean's boundless tide. 
' Such, mortals ! is to ye the general doom : 
' Toil as ye will, ye toil but for a tomb. 

* And drinks, &c] Alluding to the Ganges, whofe waters are con- 
sidered as sacred by the Hindus and other oriental nations. 


' The youth that languishes, the maid that frowns, 

' Who pine in chains, who cumber thrones on thrones, 

' The monarch, on whose front the diamond shines, 

' And he who seeks it in damp, loathsome mines, 

c All tend one way; or plodding in distress, 

f Or borne upon the wings of happiness : 

' Hovve'er their little day of life be past, 

c In pleasure, or in pain, they meet at last. 

' Enjoyment is the jewel, which to find, 

' Mortals! ye toil; all different ways inclined; 

' Each looking through the colour of his mind. 

s Some see it as a king, with purple robe, 

' Upon his sceptre balancing the globe: 

' Some in such mighty heaps of glittering ore, 

' That a^es were too short to count the store : 

* Some in the sweet variety, that decks 
' With still bewitching charm, the softer sex : 
' But all their object with like speed pursue, 

* With hopes untir'd, with fancies ever new. 
f Wise, unrelenting, vigilant, and brave, 
( And guarded against all things, but the grave, 
' Still ye look forward, though perversely blind 
' To the wide chasm that yawns for all your kind, 
' But know, that wheresoe'er your lot is cast, 
c There, there alone, your happiness is plac'd: 
' And as ye further from that spot advance, 
' The nearer do ye rush to sour mischance. 


s Learn then, from hence, Ambition to repress ; 

* Nor seek, in hollow grandeur, Happiness : 

* For Vice must fail, though Hell its arms employ : 
' And Virtue, Heaven-assisted, teems with joy/ 
She ceas'd— at once the fairy light was gone; 
And Phoebus with unrival'd splendor shone. 

Still, prostrate on the plain, the troops ador'd, 
And hung attentive on Maimoune's word: 
Awe check'd their very breath ; their blood ran chill ; 
Suspended ev'n was pleasure's rapturous thrill : 
And, when the vision fled, a pause ensued, 
As if they listen'd yet to hear the voice renew'd. 
Cambuscan first arose : his eyes he threw 
Around him ; all was vacant to the view : 
But by degrees aside the film he flung 
Which, o'er his mind, the flow of wonderous things 

had hung. 
Turn'd towards the eastern clime, with lifted hands, 
Silent, he pray'd : then thus addrest his bands. 

' Ye! who have seen th' angelic form with me; 

* Ye! who have heard pronounc'd her high decree; 
' What boots to say, that to the sovereign will 

' I bend, and swear each mandate to fulfil? 

' For when Heav'n deigns its purpose to display, 

' Tis not desert, but duty, to obey. 

' Now hear Cambuscan's word : Wolodimir, 

( No more a vassal, owes no homage here : 


*• Free, from this hour, he holds the Russian throne; 

( And no superior feels, buL God alone : 

' That Theodora's sire may never frown, 

' And curse a Lord, when he should bless a Son. 

' To thee, young Prince ! whose early virtues move 

' Aerial beings to protect thy love, 

' Whate'er a sire's regard, a monarch's pow'r, 

' May furnish, to adorn thy nuptial hour, 

' Cambuscan gives; if, blest in such a bride, 

' The world can aught of value yield beside. 

* Thou, Zelica ! whose soft perfections won 
' Celestial aid, though lost upon my son, 

' Whose plumed shape Maimoune doom'd to save 
' Me, the mark'd victim of that fraudful slave, 
' Oh ! mayst thou, from the cause of thy distress, 
' Now find its cure, and date thy happiness. 
' But for these fabrics, forg'd for Acban's aid, 
' Far from man's view be they for ever laid ! 
' Once yet again will I bestride the horse, 
e And urge to those embattled rocks my course 

* Which, on the brows of Kaf, from human eye 
' Screen the delights beyond and empyrean sky. 
' There, on some spire of lasting adamant 

< To reach whose height an eagle's power were scant, 

' The Sabre and the Mirror and the Ring, 

' Safe from audacious mortals, will I fling: 

' Then glancing downward, tread this holy ground; 

* And let my lips pronounce the fateful sound 


That wraps in everlasting clouds the Steed : 
( Sav'd from so dread a spell, the world shall bless the 

*■ For, if Heav'n grant my prayer, no son of mine, 
e No far descendant of Cambuscan's line, 
' Shall need Enchantment to assist his arm, 
' But in his virtues find a stronger charm: 
' So shall the Tartar power that strength surpass 
* Which rests its greatness on a Horse of Brass/ 


T. Bcnsley, Printer, 
fioit Cuurt, Fleet Street, 


014 640 059